Mark 10:6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8 and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
As a happily married woman I usually scan over the verses in the Bible that talk about divorce. It’s not applicable to me, I’m not divorced or separated - not even by a long shot! This was the one commandment I felt pretty good about keeping. This is also why it came as a surprise when the Lord gave me Mark 10. I didn’t need it, right? Oh, was I about to eat a huge piece of humble pie!
I was particularly drawn to the ‘they are no longer two’ part. Am I really one with my husband? What does that even mean? The Bible doesn’t say: They will be one flesh only during sex so what does ‘flesh’ implicate? I spent some time pondering this idea and came to the conclusion that one flesh means that we are one in every aspect of being human. This means physically, emotionally and intellectually. God has already bound our spirits together by His power, our flesh now need to catch up.
If we are supposed to be one, then isn’t anything that divides us physically, emotionally or intellectually seen as causing a separation of that ‘oneness’? This is where the penny dropped for me. Every time I self-righteously browsed past the separation parts of the Bible, the Lord was trying to tell me something. He was speaking to me, quite harshly actually, to get off of my little holy high horse, because I was guilty!
Understand me when I tell you this. The enemy knows that we know that separating what God has joined together is a sin, so he made it less obvious. If you are spending more (of your available) time on your phone, on Facebook, on your kids, on the house etc. than with your spouse you are being separated from (more bluntly put: cheating) your spouse. If technology is withholding you from talking about your day with a spouse that loves you, you are separated. If your spouse gets a worn out and tired partner at the end of the day, there is no intimacy. If you are sleeping in separate bedrooms because your partner snores, you have some work to do because that is emotional and intimate separation! Anything that causes a separation between you and your spouse on a physical, emotional or intellectual level is not healthy and is jeopardizing that ‘oneness’ that God has created a marriage to have. The order of God says that God is placed first and then your husband or wife, not your kids, not your job, not your friends. This might be offensive to some, but I know this to be true.
Thankfully, when we see the enemy’s strategy we can get past it. How? Get a strategy of your own. Plan your day to make sure you and your spouse have some quality time at some point. Make an appointment, something set, to make sure the enemy gets no footing in your marriage. Put away your phone when you get into bed at night, rather spend that time with your spouse talking or wherever that leads you.. notch notch wink wink.
And as an extra boost in confidence note that the Lord also says ‘become one’, meaning that He knows this will be a process of growing together towards being one. He has grace for us in this process and He will cover us and carry us while we figure this marriage-thing out. We are not alone!
1 Peter 2: 4-7 4 Come to Him [then, to that] Living Stone which men [a]tried and threw away, but which is chosen [and] precious in God’s sight. 5 [Come] and, like living stones, be yourselves built [into] a spiritual house, for a holy (dedicated, consecrated) priesthood, to offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For thus it stands in Scripture: Behold, I am laying in Zion a chosen ([b]honored), precious chief Cornerstone, and he who believes in Him [who adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] shall never be [c]disappointed or put to shame. 7 To you then who believe (who adhere to, trust in, and rely on Him) is the preciousness; but for those who disbelieve [it is true], The [very] Stone which the builders rejected has become the main Cornerstone,
In the passage above Peter tells us how we, as believers in Jesus Christ, will be rejected by the world for following Him, but that we will be precious in the sight of God. We will become living stones in His building.
Now you may say that this has nothing to do with marriage but the Lord used this very passage to teach me the whole reason for marriage. Being the over thinker that I am, and working in counselling, my mind went straight to a problem I saw in this beautiful promise the Lord gives us: When we receive rejection from those around us, how will we be able to really grasp this promise and hold on to this?
Let me explain. From psychology we know that our self-worth and perceptions are influenced by what we receive from those around us. You know, like that day you loved your new look and someone looked at you in a weird way? You immediately started to wonder if you were indeed rocking it the way you thought.
So, if people reject you, how on earth are you supposed to believe that the Almighty God Himself sees you as precious?
You might say, because the Bible says so. That is true but, while I admire your approach, I often feel like I need more confirmation.
I really struggle with making the Lord's promises my own. And so while I was sitting in my room struggling with the Lord He gave me one sentence: That is what your spouse is for.
What?? It suddenly became clear to me why I needed my spouse so desperately (and vice versa). You see, the Lord knows that we are human and that we struggle to really stand on His promises, so He gave us a little bit of those promises on earth in the form of our husbands.
The world rejects me, but I am a cornerstone in my husband's life. The world tells me I'm not good enough, he tells: me you are more than enough. The world tells me you don't have the right look; he tells me: you are perfect.
It's a miniature version, if you will, of God's relationship with His children. In the same way a wife submits to her husband, we submit to the Lord, and in the same way a husband honors his wife, God honors us. This was something that I knew but I never thought about applying it in this way.
I am so excited about this idea! And while I know that the reality of our world is one of unhappy marriages, this gives me hope. Our spouses are important. Our roles in our marriages are important. We need to be their cornerstones who keep them upright on our knees. Marriages matter and that is why we need to keep fighting for them every day.
Erich Schoeman and Monique Steenkamp share their thoughts on certain matters of the soul.