Oneness in Marriage

Oneness in marriage happens the same way as becoming one with God. Let's look at the steps at becoming one with God and draw parallels to oneness in marriage.

  1. What attracted you to Christ? Probably his unselfish life and love right? Or more generally, his character.

    That is the same thing that should attract us to our spouse. What if there are things you can't stand about your spouse's character? Good question. I will address that question on another page

  2. What is your response to that attraction? After you fall in love with Christ's character, you voluntarily chose to give yourself in service to Him for the rest of your life. People typically make this decision public by getting baptized.

    In the same way, you would pledge to serve your spouse as long as you live and make that decision public during a wedding ceremony.

  3. On a daily basis, what is your aim in your relationship to Christ? You would daily study what you need to do to please His heart, and learn how to make Him happy. You desire to fill His heart with joy.

    Oneness in marriage would grow when you daily study what pleases your spouse and seek to help them become all that God intended them to be.

  4. In order to make Christ happy, what will that do to your natural desires? As you study what pleases Him, you will also discover that what what makes Him happy goes contrary to your natural inclinations and desires. So you have to make a choice. You have to daily surrender your plans, your will, and your goals for His in order to have oneness with God.

    Oneness in marriage would grow as you study what pleases your spouse. But as you do that you will find things that also go contrary to what you want to do. Then you will have to chose to lay self aside. Oneness in marriage grows when you try to bless them and fill their heart with joy and gladness.

The Great Mystery

Ephesians 5:31-32 says "For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church"

When people talk about being "one-flesh" they are often referring to the honeymoon when they can finally have sex. But is there anything mysterious about a man and woman having sex? That's pretty instinctual isn't it? Nothing profound there. Oneness in marriage must happen through more than just sexual intercourse.

The real mystery is how sinful human beings can become one with a Holy God. It is illustrated by two people coming together form different backgrounds and personalities to become one. Lessons of self-denial, love, perseverance and patience are best learned in a marriage relationship. This is the real crux of oneness in marriage.

The very same lessons for a man and woman to become one with each other are the same lessons we need to become one with God.

Let's look at this again in another context.

 Ephesians 5:24 says, "Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing." So just as the church submits to Jesus, wives should submit to their husband. Again we see Scripture referring to the marriage relationship as a mirror of our relationship to Christ.

Submission

As a side note: the word "submit" does not mean to surrender your mind to another person's control. It means to "place in proper order." In her relationship to her husband the husband represents the role of the church in their relationship to Christ.

What is the role of the church in the relationship to Christ? Is it blind obedience? No, it’s not blind and unquestioning. Does the church exist solely to do the bidding of Christ? To be his little slaves wherever he sends us? No, we exist for fellowship and relationship.

We are invited to reason together (Isaiah 1:18) we are invited to understand his will (Eph 5:17) and enter into his thoughts and ways (Pr 23:26), so we become a team effort not just a slave. Oneness in marriage does NOT come through surrendering your identity or personality.

Understanding Headship

All of this begs the question, what makes Christ the head of the church? 

Is it because He gave his life for it?  So if I lay down my life for you will I be your head? Negative.

Is it because God made him the head? If I were made the president of the united states would people automatically respect me and follow me? Um...no.

It’s because we choose to put him in that position. We say to God “There is no one else that has loved me like you. I want you to be my master, I’ve been my master long enough.”

He could create us, die for us, but if the whole world rejected him would He be the head of them? No he would only be the head of the angels.

Men, what will make you the head of your wife?

It is her choice to place you there as she says, “No one has ever cared for me like you, I want you to be in charge.” (Jer 31:3 – with loving kindness have I drawn thee”)  

Understanding Love

How did Christ love the church?

He gave himself up for her. This is the standard for how men ought to love their wives.

Most often we all have a “list” of how we want the other to treat us and what characteristics we want them to have: If you plan on being a pastor, your list might look something like this:  I need a piano player, able to cook good food, willing to give up herself to follow me, able to teach in the children's department...

Instead men should think:  

“Lord, I have found this marvelous creature of your hands. I’m really struck with her. Could I be the tool in your hands to make her all the woman that you have designed her to be? To give up myself, my plans, my goals, and make it my number one priority to be able to present her to you a radiant bride, without spot or wrinkle or any blemish?

Can I have that privilege Lord?”

The first way to love is to give yourself up. You read in 2 Samuel 22:26 “Thy gentleness hath made me great.” In the NIV it says, “You stooped down to make me great”. Philippians 2:5-6 reminds us that your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus…become a servant.

Men, do not consider your position as something to be held on to, but make yourself nothing, taking on the nature of a servant to your wife. Be obedient to God’s command to love her and give yourself for her.

But, what was the purpose of Christ in giving himself up? To pamper, spoil?

No. It was to make her holy. You should give up yourself not to satisfy every little whim but serve to make her holy. Sometimes that means God says no to what you think you really need. Sometimes it’s not easy, but He does it for your best good.

How does He do this?

Through the "washing of water through the Word" (Eph 5:26). The standard of holiness is the demands of the word of God, not the demands of self. If you're going to make your wife holy you need to do it on the basis of the Word, not on what you think. Study the Book so you know what holiness is all about. Men should take the lead spiritually.            

Through marriage we learn about our relationship with God

and through our relationship with God

we learn about our design for marriage.

Bottom Line

Through the wife’s submission to the husband’s leadership, the husband gains insight on how he ought to trust Christ and submit to His leadership. As the husband seeks to make his wife holy, the wife gains insight into the depths of God’s love for her. These are the ingredients for oneness in marriage.

As each understand and fulfill their role, they gain deeper insights on what it means to be one with God. This is a little heaven on earth! If someone wanted to know what Heaven is like they could be directed to your home.

If the devil can ruin the home, he can ruin society making it worse with each passing generation. Isaiah 59:19 says "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him."

Do you know what that standard is?

It’s the standard of godly homes. And it begins with godly marriages.

Do you want your family to be one that God can use to be a standard against the flood that the devil is pouring on society?

May God help us as husbands and wives to build godly families.


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