Do you ever wonder what it really means to be one flesh in a Christian Marriage? Can you become one flesh in a difficult Christian Marriage? Aimee blogs over at A Work of Grace is going to share 4 Essential Steps to become one flesh in a Christian Marriage with us today.
My youngest daughter has a knitted circular blanket she’s had since she was a baby. This blanket is well-loved and well-used. Last year, I noticed it unravelling in several places. If I didn’t do something about it right away, that blanket would soon be a pile of crinkled yarn. As I repaired each hole, I was reminded of becoming one Flesh in a Christian marriage.
Each stitch in the blanket is dependent upon the stitches surrounding it.
If one unravels, it sets off a ‘run’ or a hole in the piece. The knitter has to deal with that unstitched stitch right away…or have a bigger problem on her hands. Knitting takes a lot of time…and even more patience. This is also true in marriage.
For many years, I wondered what it looked like for a husband and wife to ‘be one flesh’. I had no idea what it looked like since that was never modelled to me. Thankfully, our God is graciously willing to teach those of us who are ready to learn (OK, I wasn’t always ready to learn…).
I want to share 4 ways we can become knit together (One Flesh) in a Christian Marriage
Pray to Be One Flesh in a Christian Marriage
Prayer is the one thing that has changed my marriage. I am confident that if I didn’t pray for my husband’s salvation, he might not be following the Lord today.
When I am upset with my husband or when we are in an argument, going to the Lord in prayer softens my hardened heart. My love for my husband is renewed and refreshed. I have a new perspective on the issue at hand. And most importantly, God gently reminds me that my husband and I are on the same team.
One of my most favourite and intimate moments is when my husband prays over me. He prays over my ministry:
- Before I speak to a group of women
- When I do a webinar
- As I minister to someone
- Before I travel
- and anytime I ask him to.
Prayer is a spiritual work. And because of this, our hearts are knit together.
Prayer knits us together as one flesh in marriage.
Leave to Be One Flesh in a Christian Marriage
God’s word says that when a man and woman marry, they will leave their families and cleave to each other. Have you ever had a challenge in ‘leaving and cleaving’? Then you will know how destruction not doing so is for a marriage.
Our relationship with our parents can get in the way of a healthy marriage.
Hence the clear scripture to leave and cleave (Gen 2:24, Matt 19:5, Mark 10:7).
I took a gander at what ‘leave’ means in these verses. Hmmm…not quite what I expected. Ready for it?
To leave means to:
- Leave behind
- Depart from
Leave is used of one who- on being called away- cannot take another with him.
Well, isn’t that interesting?
HUH. I don’t believe that God intends for us to never speak to our parents again when we leave them. There are many blessings if you have a healthy relationship with your parents.
Unfortunately, not all of us have a healthy relationship. Not all kids leave their parents when it is time. Many parents do not make leaving easy on their adult kids.
The meaning of leave in this verse helps us understand the importance of an adult child leaving his or her parents when they marry. This is imperative because if we don’t leave, we can’t move on to the next part, which is to cleave. I know this from experience.
- We will have to answer to God for the times we have failed to leave and cleave.
- Our parents will also have to answer for the times they refused to release their adult children to their marriages.
Leaving knits us together as one flesh in marriage.
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Cleave to Be One Flesh in a Christian Marriage
Cleave is not a word you use in our day to day life. To get a better idea of what it means, we need to dig a bit. I took the liberty to look the word up for you.
The Outline of Biblical Usage says it means “to cling, stick, stay close, stick with, follow closely, join to, joined together, to pursue closely”.
The Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon says this:
“To cleave, to adhere, specially firmly, as if with glue, to be glued…to be lovingly devoted to.”
Does this sound like the typical marriage today? This is a choice. Not a feeling. If you want a strong, healthy marriage, you must choose to cleave.
So much for the fairytale…
Our world – and Hollywood – would love for us to believe that marriage is effortless romance. A fairytale. There is a perfect ‘soul-mate’ out there for us. The perfect match who will complete us.
The idea of a soul-mate is from Greek mythology, BTW. Don’t believe a myth! This is unbiblical and untrue.
There is only One who can complete us and that is Jesus. A man will not complete us, ladies. When we think that they can and will, we fail to put much effort into our marriage. We believe the lie that it should just happen magically.
There will be problems, and we ought to expect them, be prepared to face them. It’s just a part of marriage.
Real marriage happens when we choose
- To cleave to our spouse
- We choose to love them
- We are in control of our emotions!
- When we choose our spouse over anyone else at all times
- Choose to work in and on our marriages
We are then cleaving to our husbands.
This idea goes for unhealthy friendships as well. Steer clear of anything or anyone who will undermine your marriage.
Cleaving knits us together as one flesh in a Christian Marriage.
The Hard Times
My husband and I went through financial struggles the first several years of our marriage. It was hard to watch other people always having the new things we wanted but couldn’t have
- The new homes
- New cars
- The new furniture
- New clothes
I will never forget the piece of wisdom God gave to me one day as Marcus and I discussed our struggles. Marcus asked, “Why doesn’t so-and-so ever have any problems? Why is there life always perfect?”.
“It’s going to be the hard times that make our marriage strong,” I heard God say. “When we make it through one challenge, we are strengthened to endure the next,” I replied. “When marriages don’t have these hard times, they don’t know how to cope with them. They don’t know how to endure. And a lot of the time, those people do have struggles, we just don’t see them. Or they ignore them and pretend they don’t exist.”
Change your perspective…
This perspective changes the way we work through challenges in marriage. We can choose to use the hard times to build our marriage, to strengthen our unity.
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These are just 4 ways in which we can knit together one flesh in our marriages.
How have you and your husband created unity? Are you keeping those knitted stitches together? How has God knit you and your husband together as one flesh? How is He doing that today? Drop a comment below and let’s share ideas!