One Flesh

In the beginning, God decided that it was not good for man to be alone, so He made woman.  Genesis 2:19-24 “Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.  So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.  Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.  And Adam said: ‘This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man.’  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”  Eve was literally made of the same bone and flesh of Adam; they were one flesh.  In marriage, a man and a woman will become one flesh also. 

Being one with another individual can be one of the most pleasurable and enjoyable experiences in life.  If there is conflict, unfaithfulness or divorce, it can also be one of the most distressing and painful experiences in life.  God designed this one flesh relationship to be permanent – only terminated by death (Romans 7:1-2).  Matthew 19:4-6 “And He answered and said to them, ‘Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’  and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’ ?   So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.’”  

This one flesh relationship between a husband and wife has certain obligations or responsibilities.  1 Corinthians 7:3-5 “Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband.  The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.  Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”  The husband and wife should give each other affection.  They each have authority over the other’s body.  They should not deprive each other (sexually) except for a short time for spiritual reasons.  I will extrapolate from this guidance to say that each individual in a marriage needs to meet the needs of the other individual – physical, emotional, sexual, financial, temporal, spiritual, and communication needs.  Some people seem to seek what they can get out of a marriage and what the other individual might give them.  From the guidance in 1 Corinthians 7, there are also obligations each owes to the other.  

Additional guidance is given in Ephesians 5:25-33 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself.  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.  For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.  ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”  The important point is that in the one flesh relationship, the husband is commanded to love his wife as his own self, as his own body.  He is to love his wife as Christ loved the church.  The wife is to respect her husband. 

If you have never been married, this one flesh relationship that God designed is something you can look forward to; be prepared also to complete your part of the requirements of the one flesh relationship.  If you are married, do your part to fulfill the relationship God has designed for the one flesh.

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