After I married Larry, I made some surprising discoveries. I hadn’t realized that I am particular about my stuff until my things became our things. I learned that we used the same words but different dictionaries. Words like: “saving, spending, celebrating and soon.”
The business of becoming one was dicier than we had imagined. Our preconceived ideas of roles and expectations also brought challenges. I had unconsciously assumed all good men were like Daddy, and he thought all women were like his mother. We expected the other to fall into those roles, but soon discovered we weren’t my parents or his. We had to discover what worked best for the two in our marriage.
Marriage should change how you think and act. Singles think about what they want to do, eat or buy. Couples need to consider how their decisions affect each other.
A good marriage, like anything else, needs a good design to succeed. The original blueprint for marriage is found in Genesis 2:24, “That’s why a man will leave his own father and mother. He marries a woman, and the two of them become like one person” (CEV).
God designed a couple to act as one person. He took Adam, one man, and created two, Adam and Eve; and then brought them together in marriage to become one flesh. Just as both legs follow the head, Adam and Eve followed God. They were to operate in unity as one.
A married person exchanges “What is best for me,” for “What is best for us?” The answer to that question benefits them both. If you think as one person that means you make adjustments to satisfy both parties. If your physical body is comfortable sitting in a chair except for the cramp in one leg, your whole body will shift positions. Why? Because when your leg hurts, you hurt.
When your spouse is uncomfortable with a decision, you adjust. The two become one by seeking the best for both.
When a husband hurts his wife, he hurts himself. When a wife injures herself with destructive thoughts, habits, or attitudes, she injures her husband. What one does impacts the other.
Becoming one does not mean you have to do everything together. It means what you do supports your unity and doesn’t undermine it.
Becoming one requires humility. In other words, it means becoming more Christ-like. “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others (Philippians 2:1-4 NIV).
Next week we will go back and look at the creation of man and woman and how that affects their roles.
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