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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How would you live and love differently if you really believed that you and your spouse are one?

I'm continuing today with my "What If" series. If you missed my last post, you may want to go back and read it, because in that post  I explain the how and why of all this "what iffing."

The goal of this series is to get you to thoughtfully ponder the implications of certain statements of marital truth and to allow them to impact the way you live and love.

So don't read any further unless you are ready to give this some serious thought!

Here's what I want you to consider this week:

What if... you really are one with your spouse?

You probably know what I'm referring to, but in case it's not clear, I'm talking about the verses in Genesis 2 and Ephesians 5 that say a husband and wife, when they are joined in marriage, actually become one.

The Apostle Paul describes this as a great mystery. In the Greek the word is "mega" - literally a mega-mystery!

He adds to the mystery by stating explicitly that husband and wife are one in the same way we become one with Christ when we come to faith in Him. Whoa!

Unpacking the Mega-Mystery

The first thing to realize about the whole two-become one mystery is that it is not something you do.

It's not even something you become.

It's something you ARE.  

You ARE one. The Bible declares it to be so, and so I believe it is.

Yeah, I know, it's hard to get your head around that sometimes. A lot of times it doesn't feel that way, right? I mean we fight, we get self absorbed, and sometimes we grow apart. How can you say we are one through all of that?

That's the mystery.

In the verses in Ephesians that come before the statement of marital oneness, Paul blows the doors off this "what if" mystery by stating that it's exactly the same as it is with Christ and the church. We are one with our spouse in the same way that we are one with Christ. We don't work our way into oneness with Jesus. We don't  grow our way into it, or pray our way into it, or earn it with our daily devotions and weekly church attendance.

No, the Bible make is clear that at salvation we become one with Christ, one in a mysterious spiritual union.

It's the same with marriage. You are one with your spouse by virtue of the fact that you chose to marry each other. It's that simple.

Enjoying the Fruit of Oneness

If you are already one with your husband or wife, then it is kind of silly for us to "try" to be one. The question isn't really how to become one. The question is how do we fully enjoy the fruit of the oneness that is already ours by virtue of the fact that we are married?

To make this notion a little clearer, let me draw the spiritual parallel to which Paul alludes in Ephesians. As believers, we are one with Christ, whether we "feel" one or not. How we feel is not the issue. The oneness we share with Him gives us access to all kinds of great things like a 24/7 intimate walk with Christ, the continuing fellowship of the Holy Spirit, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead, the right to ask anything in Jesus' name, etc.  Whether or not we tap into all these great fruits of our oneness does not change the fact that we are one with Christ.

So what are the implications for oneness in marriage? Well, for me, if I really am one with my wife, then:
  • Score-keeping makes absolutely no sense, because when my wife"wins" then so do I.
  • Self-centeredness, self-protection, self-promotion and self-reliance have no place
  • Intimacy in all forms (spiritual, physical, emotional, intimacy, financial, intellectual) is the natural, intended state of my marriage.
  • When I choose to meet my wife's needs, I'm actually also helping myself.
  • I don't need to "perform" or jump through certain hoops in order to earn intimacy. It's ours by right.
  • When we choose the Path of Separation instead of the Path of Intimacy, we tear at the fabric of our oneness.
  • Neither of us is more or less, we are instead a perfect complement. One.
  • I am completely free to bring my full self to my marriage, to hold nothing back from my wife. I am fully  hers, as she is fully mine.
  • When I hurt my wife, I'm actually hurting myself.
What are some other implications of the  oneness you have with your spouse? How would you behave differently if you really believed it? How has being one changed how you live and love? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

image credit: icyyoke /


Paul Byerly said...

All sounds right to me. So why don't I live like it is all the time?

Anonymous said...

Nicely done Scott!

Accepting what it really means to "be one" automatically reveals my selfishness to me. I have come to love this about marriage, being 'bound' in a sphere where I must call myself second to something greater than me - the marriage.

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