Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:8, Ephesians 5:31, and Matthew 19:5 all mention becoming one flesh, as if to emphasize and state the importance of these words, shining a spotlight on the truth. Most couples genuinely enjoy being married and being “one” with their spouse, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t felt tension and that marriage is free of mishaps and bumps.
Every couple has had their fair share of temptations and trials, longing to split and bend to their flesh. For example, some couples struggle with infertility at some point in their marriage, causing them to be at odds with each other rather than coming together in hopes of starting a family. Unfortunately, Satan loves to meddle in marriages and will use anything to pull a couple apart. He’s the master of causing confusion, twisting the truth and bringing division at all costs, making us fall repeatedly.
This is why it’s essential to understand what Jesus meant when He said two become one. Let’s get some context behind these verses and why the term “become one flesh” is so precious in marriage.
Adam and Eve started it all.
In each mentioned verse, we read that a man leaves his father and unites with his wife. However, Adam and Eve didn’t have parents because God was their Father. So what does this mean in Genesis 2:24? We see God lay out the roles of family members and the importance of Adam and Even’s example for all of us. God cares for His creation and created us for partnership and to do this life together, respecting and honoring each other. Our connection with Him is frontstage and takes precedence over all other relationships for all our other relationships to flourish.
God tells us He created Eve for Adam so he wouldn’t be alone, as detailed in Genesis 2:18. Furthermore, Eve would be Adam’s helper. God made her to be a friend, companion and lover. This is the first relationship we see between a man and woman, a husband and wife. They were far from perfect and sinned against the Father, but we learn many valuable lessons from their love story. We learn that a marriage starts with a beautiful partnership being joined to God, as explained in Ecclesiastes 4:12.
God’s intent for marriage.
Think about a recent wedding you attended, or if you’re married, think about your blissful wedding day. All of the feelings and emotions coursing through your veins, from the excitement to the unending nerves that brought on emotions you may have never felt. It was a surreal experience. Then, it happened. You and your spouse locked eyes and exchanged the most precious vows you’ll ever say to another person. You made a pledge, took a stand, and declared your love, with your family, parents, and friends all being a witness. You made a covenant with God and your spouse. This only happens in one human relationship: marriage.
God’s design for marriage is straightforward: what God has joined together in a union, let no man seperate. Ephesians 5:31 reminds us that a man leaves his parents to join his wife and start a family. They unite as one, pursuing God’s will while faithfully devoted to each other. Mentally connected, emotionally driven, spiritually growing and physically joined. Marriage is God’s investment in His kingdom; we should take that to heart.
But what about when marriages fail, a wedge has come between the two, or one is unfaithful? What does Jesus say on this subject? As Jesus taught in Judea, the Pharisees questioned Him about marriage and divorce, a controversial topic even during that time. Jesus’ response was very straightforward, saying that God created man and woman in the beginning, as if to reiterate that a man and woman join in marriage. He further proved that God made marriage to connect closely with them while growing in a unique way with another human to procreate and start a family, as detailed in Genesis 1:28.
This idea sparked further debate on Mosaic law, which states that if a man found uncleanness in his wife, he could write her a divorce bill, specifically in Deuteronomy 24:1. However, Jesus met them in their testiness, responding to their corrupted perspective of marriage. He took them back to the start, where Adam was lonely and needed a partner. God didn’t just give Adam another animal to name or another man to befriend. God does something more incredible. He takes one of Adam’s ribs and fashioned a woman.
Eve was made from Adam, for Adam. Jesus continues further into Matthew 19, saying that the only grounds for divorce are due to sexual immorality, implying that in marriage, sexual intimacy is a gift and should stay within a marriage bed. He goes on to say that if a married individual cannot be loving, faithful, and serve their spouse, putting God in control over their marriage, they shouldn’t walk down the aisle, a pretty powerful statement. Jesus points out to the crowd gathering to hear His message that God takes marriage seriously and has a purpose and plan for this sacred union.
This means we should also see marriage as holy and sacred. In other words, it’s a way to become more like Christ. When you serve, love, and build trust with your spouse, sacrificing your needs and wants to meet the needs of your other half, you become a united front or one flesh that can fight off the enemy constantly on the attack. If your marriage is currently under attack and you don’t feel like one with your spouse, seek discernment and wisdom from the Father. Open your heart and hurt to God and lay down the burdens surrounding your marriage.
Hand it all over, ask God to step in, and trust He will guide and lead you. Remind your broken heart that your spouse isn’t meant to meet your need for unfailing love because they simply can’t. They’ll fail you like you’ll fail them. Marriage is a precious gift and beautiful blessing that gives us a unique and endearing type of love, joining us together as one. However, it doesn’t come close to the unfailing and unconditional love that God offers His children.