Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
I always thought the imagery was quite beautiful of the two becoming one. What a romantic notion, of two hearts melding together, beating in a single rhythm. No longer my body, or his body- but ours. So poetic and dreamy.
And it is, truly. It’s a wonderful picture of what happens when two people are married. But as the years roll by, this image comes into focus more clearly, and we learn that becoming one is far more complex than we could have ever imagined. It happens in an instant, that moment you say, “I do.” But it also happens in every instant afterward, for the rest of your life. You are constantly becoming one person, in every word, every thought, every deed. And it’s not always easy. You’re taking two totally, completely independent beings, and fusing them into one. At times, there will be struggle and discomfort, as the pieces are reconciled together. Compromises must be made. We must yield our fingers and toes and all the things we were before– so that something new is created. There are times when I don’t want to do that. When I like my own fingers and toes just fine, thank you. Times when my heart rebels.
But what happens if I resist it? We are still becoming one– that was set into motion on a winter day in December sixteen years ago. But one what? One big mess, that’s what. If I fight it, and insist on having my own fingers and toes– we will become an atrocity. We will be deformed by our resistances. We will be an unnatural being, with two heads, four arms, twenty toes… we will not be glorifying anybody. We will not be the picture of Christ and the Church. We will be a sad and scary abomination.
Becoming one flesh– it’s never finished. Every day we choose the shape of this new being. Will we be in harmony? Will I be soft and gentle, pliable in the Master’s hand? Will I allow Him to make a beautiful thing of us? If I insist on my way, or hold pieces of myself back from my spouse- then what is a blessing from God will become a curse. What God has made, we will tear apart. What the world doesn’t understand, what we ALL don’t understand– is that it’s not the big things that break marriages. It’s not infidelity, or sickness, or finances, or addictions that destroy. Those things are just the grand finale. What tears a marriage apart are fingers, and toes. It’s the small things we won’t surrender. It’s the damaged one flesh that we create with our choices, that can’t stand properly in this world. We can’t move, we can’t think, we can’t function. We can’t survive. What chance have we to stand against what the world will throw at us in this condition ? We have resisted what God wanted to make of us, and now we will fall.
It can be beautiful, this one flesh. We’ve all seen marriages like that. But that didn’t happen at the altar. It wasn’t simply a vow that makes their union glorious. It is sacrifice, it is enduring growing pains, it’s in having patience and kindness and mercy with each other. And those only come through submission to Jesus Christ every. single. day.
Becoming one isn’t just a fanciful, romantic idea. It isn’t just lighting a unity candle at your wedding, or pouring sand in a vase. It’s sacrificing fingers and toes– it’s relinquishing what you were, so that together you are something new and strong and enduring. It happens today, when you are faced with the little rebellions in your heart, that you decide what kind of new creature you will become.
Yield, and be beautiful.
Fight, and be broken.