Genesis 2:24 New King James Version (NKJV)
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
Ephesians 5:31-33 New Living Translation (NLT)
31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”[a] 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
It is indeed a great mystery! After being married for more than 17 years, I am still looking for clues to unlock it. Here are just a few of the ones I’ve uncovered in my search through the scriptures:
Clue #1: The order of creation
Man was created on the 6th day by God, for God. He was designed to be in constant relationship with his Creator. Still, it wasn’t good for man to be alone, so God made him a helper suitable for him; woman. Woman was also designed to be in constant relationship with her Creator, and to, well …. help her husband care for all that God had created! By the order of creation, man was crafted to be the leader of the marriage- and the family, and his wife was to support him in his endeavors. Our order is the same today: God, spouse, children…then everyone else.
Clue #2: Leave & Cleave
When a man leaves his father and mothers home he is establishing a new family in which he (as stated in clue #1) is designed to lead. He is no longer under his mother and fathers authority. He is no longer commanded to obey them- but to honor them. A woman, however, moves her submission from her parents, to her husband. She too is no longer commanded to obey her parents- but to honor them.
If the husband fails to “cut the apron strings” from his parents and lovingly lead his wife, she will not respect him, and oneness will be impossible. Likewise, if a woman doesn’t respect her husband by no longer running and crying to her mama and daddy every time there’s an “issue,” her husband will not feel inclined to sacrificially love her.
Clue #3: No Shame
Genesis 2:25 New Living Translation (NLT)
25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
Since no one is without sin, no one is immune to the devastation that shame brings to a relationship. When a man and woman marry, they bring all their hidden sins with them. Left ignored, the shame that will fester over them like a tough scab will steal the couples physical, emotional and spiritual intimacy. Fear of rejection, humiliation, judgement, blame, etc. slowly destroys and kills the bond between them. When past and present sins are exposed to the light of God, He removes the scab of shame and heals the wound completely. Only when a husband and wife are both willing to be treated by the Great Physician can the relationship be restored and the 2 become 1.
I have to be honest…..these 3 clues have been some of the most difficult for me to apply to my life. But when the Holy Spirit uncovered these truths and I finally chose to submit to Him, my life- and my marriage began to be restored and redeemed. And let me tell you, once you are able, through the Lord’s help to solve a piece of the mystery and become ONE with your spouse, you never, ever, ever want to live any other way.
Becoming ONE Flesh with my man has without a doubt been the greatest expression of worship in my life to date.
‘I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands on it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it – there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.’
-A Study in Scarlet