Next month Ray and I will be married 16 years. Hard to believe it’s been that long ~ and the man STILL does not understand me! 🙂 Successful marriages require a lot of prayer, love, forgiveness, communication, frequent and passionate sex, financial agreement, understanding, and most of all, occasional dinners out to eat Mexican or Mediterranean food with no kids!
Marriage is just not easy, and many couples decide it’s too much hard work and quit. The divorce rate even among Christians is at least 30%, and some statistics say even 50% today. When the Pharisees quoted Moses allowing a man to divorce his wife, Jesus answered, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote this precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no man separate.”
I believe that becoming one flesh is a lengthy process. Have you ever noticed that couples who have been married for years seem to be able to read each others’ minds at times, sense what one another is feeling without a word being spoken, and even can finish one another’s sentences? This is the one flesh God was speaking of – a unity of minds, bodies, souls, and spirits. Psalm 133 says, “Behold, how good and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, running down on the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing ~ life forevermore.”
Unity brings the blessing of God. There is no strife, no division, no hurt, no unforgiveness, no control or vying for power. But only love, joy, peace, and an abundant, happy life with a common goal ~ to glorify God. No longer two, but one. Becoming one flesh is not easy, but God can help us to do just that ~ after all, He is the potter and we are the clay, the pinnacle of His creation. He wants our marriages to be the beautiful, mysterious picture of Christ the Bridegroom and His Bride the Church, to a lost and dying world.
When Ray went to Haiti several years ago for a mission trip to train security guards for a pastor there, he was gone for nearly a week. He brought home wonderful souvenirs to make it up to me and the kids for his long absence. One of my favorite souvenirs he gave me was a soapstone sculpture of a man and a woman. They are two seperate people, and yet are intertwined as one. This really spoke to my heart of how God desires us to be as a married man and woman. It is my passionate prayer that Ray and I will continue to become one flesh throughout the rest of the years of our marriage, and will become that perfect picture of Christ and His Spotless Bride to others, for God’s kingdom and His glory.
The soapstone sculpture Ray bought me in Haiti