And we are members of his body. As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.Ephesians 5:30-32
The biblical concept behind marriage is the process of two becoming one. Paul is quoting the reference in Genesis 2:24, namely
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall become united and cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.Genesis 2:24
Do you realize with all the comments about things being “good” and “very good” at the time of creation, there was one thing that God said was “not good”? “It is not good for man to be alone.” It is better to find a help mate, a negeth (a complement to yourself). I don’t think you know the half of what God designed when He designed men and women. Oh no just the physical compatibility, that is obvious and amazing. But the emotional compatibility and the way in which our psyches are in perfect complementation. Here is a scary radical thought – any woman is the perfect complement to any man because of the! way God designed you both. Learn to appreciate it. Then, the way He has put us together in order to enable us to function in the way we were designed. That is astounding. It is better in a team than it is alone. It is better to work in synergy than it is to work alone. It is better to develop interdependence than it is to be independent.
The mystery of two becoming one is like the mystery of Christ and the church. What is being compared here? With every metaphor or figure of speech you must find the point of comparison. There are any number of attributes which could be in focus. What is it about Christ and the church and the man and wife what i! s being compared here? In this case it is not hard because Paul states it clearly and openly. This is all about oneness! Just as Christ and the church are one, so too are the husband and wife. The church of course is the collection of believers in whom the Holy Spirit dwells. They become one with Him. So too the husband and wife who are an example of what the oneness the Holy Spirit and the believer ought to be. The way God designed men and women and marriage ought to say to you – Oh so that is what is meant by oneness. ONENESS and all it means is in focus here.
Its interesting isn’t it that the man (and by inference the woman) is (are) to leave his (their) father and mother and cleave (cling) to his (their) wife (spouse). (or vice versa). Involved in that process is what we talked about yesterday. To be able to do that we have to at least be independent. So we can then move to being interdependent. Any hint of dependence will cause the process of becoming one to be void. If we don’t succeed in leaving parents and cleaving to our spouse we negate the cleaving process as well. For those of us who still allow a dependent parent to control us cause a breach to occur in the cleaving process with our spouse. We must leave completely before we can truly cleave totally. Any disruption to the leaving affects the quality of the cleaving. If you have not yet reached a stage in your life where you are truly independent then don’t get married. You will not be able to handle the test it puts on your character requiring you to move beyond independence to interdependence. If you are still locked back at the depe! ndence level you are doomed to fail in interdependence because you hav e never gone through independence. If you are locked in a dependent relationship with your mother still, you doom your marriage to fail. THINK ABOUT IT!
As in the natural, so too in the spiritual. The same principles hold true for our relationship with Christ. The oneness and the principle of cleaving are not compromised from His end but how are they from His end. Are we independent, separated from that which would pull us down? Have we truly left our parents, our old life behind or are there vestiges still clinging on? An important question to ask yourself. The depth of this analogy and comparison is truly endless. I am so aware that in writing this Gem I am only scratching the surface. No wonder Paul calls it a mys! tery. I wish I could add much more but I am running out of verses to comment on. Ha ha.
One other thing to share with you before I leave you to ponder on the analogy of husband and wife vs Christ and the church. Imagine how sad it is if because of the fact that husband or wife can’t let go of the past or of parents control or of their own baggage from the past they can’t cleave. What results is not “we” but a “you” and “me” where the one tries to dominate the other. When one party tries to dominate in this submission relationship there is deep hurt. Not only that but you don’t end up with “we” you end up with at best two individuals pretending to be one. [Two half people trying to be one, or attempting to remain 2 persons] Or at worst, one dominant individual and another subjugated individual where there is no self realization. So really one person living the life of two people and forcing the other “partner” to be their slave. [I saw that all the years of my growing up observing the relationship between my alcoholic father and my mother.] Or perhaps half a person living the life of two where one has been reduced to nothing. That is far from what God intended!
Husband: you are crazy if you subjugate your wife to become a non-person and brow beat her into submission on the basis of a Bible verse that reads “Wives submit to your husbands”. You have to realize that Biblical submission HAS TO BE voluntary on the part of the submitter. I can’t ram that point home hard enough. It is no! t yours to force or take; it is only open and available for your wife to give you as a gift. Don’t steal it or you will ruin it. Furthermore if you rob her of her input and way of doing things, (her culture she has learned through growing up in her family) by forcing her to do things your way you negate the riches of the resources God has given you to deal with what life throws at you.
Enough of my thoughts for the moment. This is a deep word picture, an analogy that has many ramifications and connections. Spend some time thinking about it. Tomorrow we will cover one more amazing truth buried in the midst of these verses. Another gem waiting to be found. But don’t forget to ponder this one as far as you are able first. It is all very deep and meaningful.
Husbands: if you treat your wife like a thoroughbred, you’ll never end up with a nag!Rick Godwin
Sex with 1 wife for Life ISN’T like playing 1 record over & over but learning 1 instrument well for years of beautiful music!Rick Warren
“We” is more important than “Me.” Do what’s best for the marriage, “Our way” is always the best way.Jeffrey Rachmat
Your greatest obstacle to personal growth isn’t ignorance; it’s the illusion of knowledge. It’s in believing you’ve ‘arrived.’Bob Gass
Marriage Has Conformed Me More To “His Image” Than 35 Years Of Bible Study.Robb Thompson
Refuse to live trapped in fear or the small dimensions of a self-centred world! Get married if you dare and if you are complete enough to handle it.Ian Vail