The New Math of Marriage: 1 + 1 = 1. The Bible teaches that when one man and one woman deepen their relationship -according to God’s blueprint- the result is oneness.
And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:27
The Bible tells us that when God created mankind, His divine distinction is that He created MALE & FEMALE. He made them in His image. Now this implies that men and women reflect different aspects of His image. Genesis presents mankind at the apex of the creative process like a diamond in its setting. And the sparkle coming from the diamond is the reflection of His image. Man and woman are distinguished from the rest of creation in that we reflect the image of God. To say it another way: We are from TWO WORLDS, but made to reflect ONE Creator. This ONENESS is the purpose of marriage. This Oneness is the goal of our relationship.
Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
The goal of marriage is to Pursue ONENESS. To be “joined to his wife” and to become “ONE FLESH.” And they were both naked… which means much more than “they have no clothes…” It meant that they were “open, uncovered, unashamed, and not hidden” from one another. They didn’t have to hide their differences, be ashamed of their uniqueness, didn’t have the frustration or feeling that the other was trying to change them causing them to hide their distinctiveness. They were Open on Three Levels: BODY, SOUL, and SPIRIT. This is important, because we need to understand THE IDEAL for Oneness is God Himself…
THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU THINK ABOUT, WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT ONENESS… IS THE ONENESS OF GOD.
The Bible describes God’s character as both Plural and Singular. This is oneness. It is the unity of diversity. It is the harmony of variety. It the the unique vision the Bible tells of the god who is three in one. He is multi-faced, multi-dimensional, and yet completely together, unified, and complete. Notice the plural in Genesis 1:26.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
In fact, the first verse of the Bible struggles with the limitation of our language and understanding to express to us what this 3 in 1, singular meets plural looks like when it says.
Genesis 1:1 In the Beginning GOD (Elohiym), which is a plural noun Created (singular).
As many of you know who took Latin, French, Spanish… the verb and the noun need to agree in a sentence. A plural noun like “THEY” needs a plural verb like “ARE” You would say, THEY ARE… You wouldn’t put a plural noun with a singular verb… “THEY IS” But that is exactly what the Hebrew writers have done here. THEY (Elohiynm) IS (Singular). The multi-dimensional God Is. He created and fashioned intentionally and, specifically, men and women in His character. Like He is 3 in 1, they will be 3 in 1, but Act as One.
That may seem a bit heady, let me get practical for a moment. What does it mean to be made in His image? We also are 3 in 1. We are made in His image with 3 parts: a spirit, a soul, and a body.
1 Thess 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Why is this important? Well…because a husband and wife can’t get on the same page… or Move Toward Oneness…and see the unique way their two worlds unite unless they have a picture of who they are and who God is. I want to give you the goal of oneness. Look at this photo.
If you and I are made in three parts, and our spouse is in three parts, then the ONENESS of a marriage will be created as we learn to come together in three areas: Oneness of Body, Oneness of our Soul (friendship/companionship), and Oneness of Spirit. All three of these aspects are critical and all three must be pursued. One of the real practical struggles of marriage is that often we aren’t both pursuing the same Blueprint for ONENESS. We will feel more “in love” and “at one” as we prioritize all three aspects of our marriage. The Bible calls this Oneness or “knowing” another person at all levels.
I was sharing this principle a few years ago and a wife came up to me after the service and said, “I get what you are saying. My husband is always talking about the ‘Body’ aspect of Oneness and wanting to be intimate with me sexually. I am always chasing the ‘soulish’ or ‘best friend’ aspect of our closeness.” She said, “I told him last week, ‘Can’t we just grow older together, be good friends, and not make the whole physical intimacy such a big deal?’ “ I asked her, “How did he take that suggestion?” She laughed and said, “He told me he wants MORE than a best friend…” And what she was discovering is that she and her husband were emphasizing or de-emphaszing different aspects of their ONENESS. She wants MORE than just body oneness: the “Soulish” Oneness of friendship. He wants MORE “Body” oneness, but wasn’t prioritizing the soulish or spirit Oneness.
When one of you downplay just one area of this oneness, you are missing out on your hardwired blueprint. Saying, “Body Oneness is not important” is like saying 1/3 of how we were designed is not important. This will not work, and it will not “go well” with your spouse. And vice versa, saying whether this is denying physical needs or taking the attitude that we don’t need to talk about our lives and have common interests and goals, both are equally problematic because you are saying to your spouse 1/3 of how we are designed shouldn’t be a big deal. But ONENESS IS ABOUT connecting on ALL THREE LEVELS! And God made us unique, because usually in marriage, one of us is emphasizing one aspect of ONENESS, and the other is emphasizing the other. Instead of convincing the other they are wrong, we need to pursue ONENESS on all three levels saying, “We want to be LOVERS, FRIENDS, and SOUL MATES!” Embracing our unique worlds rather than trying to change them.
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