We don’t hear a lot about oneness in marriage these days. We live in a world where doing your own thing and being your own person is encouraged and applauded. And while we don’t give up our individuality in marriage, becoming one is part of God’s plan for a husband and wife. So what exactly does God’s Word tell us about this oneness?
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” – Genesis 2:24
In the beginning…
In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth, He also created marriage. (See Genesis 2:18-25.) His creation was perfect, and His plan for marriage was perfect. And God said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). Everything was perfect.
And then came sin, and God’s perfect creation and plan for marriage was marred by man for all time. (See Genesis 3.) While marriage has been difficult and imperfect since that first act of disobedience toward God, His plan for marriage remains perfect and will always be. How do we know?
Because Jesus confirmed it when He was questioned by the Pharisees about divorce. Rather than giving them a simple yes or no answer, He quoted Genesis 2:24—God’s perfect plan. “Haven’t you read,” He replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Matthew 19:4-6).
The apostle Paul also taught that God’s original plan for marriage is still in effect, even though it is often distorted by us. It is God’s ideal and what we should strive for. Paul, too, quotes Genesis 2:24—“’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’” (Ephesians 5:31).
Okay…we’ve seen that same passage three times now. I think God is trying to make a point that this is really important. Oneness is vital to a godly marriage. So what does it mean for us to be one as a married couple?
The Meaning of Oneness
Being one does not mean that we have to think exactly alike, always agree on everything, like the same styles, music, TV shows, food, and so on. God made us different in many ways. We are, after all, created male and female. We are different. That was God’s design and intention.
But being one as husband and wife means to be unified and committed to one another. The Hebrew word for oneness means to be united, unified together when action is taken, and a one-time thing. Oneness leaves room for there to be diversity within that unity. We can be different. Indeed, God created us to be so—and still be unified.
It is in working with each other in spite of our differences that God teaches us to live out what He describes in Ephesians 5:1-2—“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” This passage is at the beginning of the chapter where Paul writes about marriage and oneness.
And in the New Testament, the Greek word for this idea of oneness means to be as one flesh…as one body. It is similar to the idea used for the church—that we are one or unified as a body, working together for one goal, for the good of Christ and each other. Yet we are different as different parts of the body are different.
Now that we have a better understanding of what oneness in marriage means, in our Couple’s Bible Study post next week, we will see from the Bible how a husband and wife become one.
Our prayer is that God will use these teachings to help strengthen your marriage. In addition to our Couple’s Bible Study teaching posts, we will have posts specifically for wives, for husbands, and for couples to encourage and inspire you. We will also share tools and activities from time to time you can use to help you grow closer to each other and to the Lord.
We hope you’ll come back often. If you’d like to receive our new blog posts by email, please subscribe in the form to the right.
May the Lord bless you!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Featured photo by confused_me via Pixabay.com (text added)