Kate says . . .
The Bible tells us that when we leave our parents, and are united with our spouse, we become “one flesh”. (Ephesians 5:31) So we are one, yet there is still clearly two of us in this marriage. How does the one flesh thing work and is it only symbolic?
I think the honest answer to this is yes and yes!
Are we one? YES!!!
Once you are married, you start the journey of becoming one flesh with your hubby. I remember in the beginning of our marriage, I felt that once we had sex we would enter into the “one flesh” and that would be that. I discovered that getting to that place of true connectedness through sexual intimacy takes time, communication, exploration and understanding. Sexual intimacy is a vital part of the one flesh journey, but it is not the whole picture. Becoming one flesh is the journey to knowing each other completely. Knowing each other in all areas of intimacy. The four areas Brad and I like to stress are: emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual.
Why are we one?
I believe that God talks specifically about the marriage union becoming one, because he knows us. He knows how we are, what our tendencies are. If we approach our marriage and our hubby thinking that we are two separate people, then we are inclined to think selfishly. If we view ourselves as ONE with our husbands it truly challenges our self-centered nature that wants to rear its ugly head and take over our marriage. You are not two anymore, but one. Every decision you make affects your hubby. One flesh is a mindset and it is wise to start thinking that way. While processing things in your head, stop and put on your one flesh glasses (instead of rose-colored). If we think of being one with our hubby, then we have to make a decision that will work and benefit for the marriage as one, not two. Not benefit you, not benefit him, but benefit you as one.
God knew approaching marriage as two would break down time and again. When two people, with their own selfish desires deal with marriage on a daily basis, there will be discord. I think all of us wives can agree that discord comes very naturally in marriage. Not that we want it to, but it seems very easy to disagree on things, many times it is easier than agreeing. How can you stop this? Take to heart what God says, you and your hubby are one! Stop thinking of daily life through your own self. We need to die to self, so that our marriages can live and thrive. Our marriage needs to be second in life, not our self.
Are We Two Too? YES!
How does that work? Most people who get into this debate, believe you are either one or you are two, but not both. Well I think God intended for us to be one, with two amazing personalities in that oneness. Lets face it, God created all of us with unique traits and they don’t just go away when you merge with your hubby. It is about a journey together to oneness, where our unique traits show, but our selfishness is left behind. There is no room for “I want” in marriage. If we remain focused on what our hubby needs and wants, then we have our focus where it should be. Then in turn if our hubby has his focus on our needs and our wants, he too is focused appropriately. If we are each focused on ourselves, we are opening up to a world of hurt and discord.
I am not suggesting that you lose yourself, your personality, or that you become your husband’s cook and maid. I am encouraging you, with your unique personality to discover the oneness God wants to create in your marriage. God knew that it was not good for man to be alone; he said so in the garden when he created Eve. He knew the best thing for a man was to have a wife to share life and to become one with. Since we are broken people, being rebuilt by Jesus, we cannot truly know and understand the fullness of God’s plan for oneness in marriage. Yet, we can open up our lives to His word, His commands and His calling for wives as we strive for this one flesh union.
The relationship between God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit reflects the marriage relationship God desired for us. God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit all have their own characteristics, their own roles, but they are all one. While they can do separate things they cannot be separated. This is a mirror image of God, husband and wife. Truly beautiful!
3 Steps to Grow a One Flesh Mindset
Be transparent-be yourself: For the two of you to move into a one flesh mindset, you as a wife have to be yourself. Your hubby wants to know your innermost thoughts. He wants to hear your fears, to share your dreams, to live life with you! We all have things that we would rather not share with others, but being able to share them with your hubby, knowing you will be safe and loved is amazing! A true blessing. I believe that most of our hubby’s would love to really know what we are thinking and they would love for us to share our true selves with them. The good and the not so good! Try to open yourself up more to your hubby!
Change your thinking:
When thinking about life and situations in general, remind yourself that you and your hubby are in this together. Think about his feelings, his needs, his desires before you proceed. If you are not sure, talk to him. Say to yourself, “I know what I would do or want, but what does my hubby think about this?” I used to make many decisions on my own. I didn’t like waiting and I felt I could do it alone. Now, even when Brad is at work, I slow down and remind myself that I can talk with him about things when he gets home. (I only call him at work with something that needs a decision right away) This has taught me to include him in all my thinking and decisions as well as teaching me to relax and wait. Two things I desperately needed to learn for myself and our marriage.
Talk with your hubby, ask his thoughts and opinions: One great way of encouraging your one flesh connection is to talk with your hubby. Talk about big things, but talk about the mundane little things as well! Keeping up conversation within your marriage will help you both to feel connected on many levels. Our hubby’s really do like when we ask their opinion. Keeping in mind that you need to ask it and then take very high into consideration what he has said. This will show him a great amount of admiration and respect.
While I was stuck in selfishness in our marriage I was mentally keeping score of what I was doing and what Brad was not doing. We were two separate entities trying to do a united marriage, getting nowhere-fast! Anyone else ever feel that way? When God was working on my heart to change, I realized that I had to stop thinking about myself all the time. When I started thinking about how I could show Brad respect, love him and serve him, I felt so much better and our one flesh connection blossomed. It was not just a one-way street, Brad took strides in leaving his selfish ways behind too. I will let him talk further on that.
Being one, means being selfless. It means dying to our selfish nature. It does not happen overnight, but I believe it will not happen if you stay stuck in your own selfishness. There will be times of triumph and times of trials. Becoming one flesh is a journey. It means letting yourself be known completely and seeking to know your hubby completely. It is a high calling and a hard one. Will you take the steps to encourage oneness in your marriage?
When thinking about life and situations in general, remind yourself that you and your hubby are in this together. Think about his feelings, his needs, his desires before you proceed. If you are not sure, talk to him. Say to yourself, “I know what I would do or want, but what does my hubby think about this?” I used to make many decisions on my own. I didn’t like waiting and I felt I could do it alone. Now, even when Brad is at work, I slow down and remind myself that I can talk with him about things when he gets home, or call him at work with something that needs a decision right away. This has taught me to include him in all my thinking and decisions as well as teaching me to relax and wait. Two things I desperately needed to learn for myself and our marriage.