Why do most marriages that end in divorce fail?
It’s not infidelity…
Not even a lack of communication.
Most marriages fail today because people overlook the scripture where Jesus explains marriage to the Pharisees.
For from the very first he made man and woman to be joined together permanently in marriage; therefore a man is to leave his father and mother, 8 and he and his wife are united so that they are no longer two, but one. 9 And no man may separate what God has joined together.” Mark 10:6-9 TLB
We try to live separate lives when God has taught us that we are to live together as one flesh.
As Christians, the commitment that we make is more than just vows we share during our wedding ceremony. Those are just words.
It’s more than just a promise. How many times have you broken a promise, whether intentionally or unintentionally?
Create a bond
God has much more in mind when he called us to be One Flesh. It’s an unbreakable bond. But just being married won’t automatically create that spiritual bond.
I once attended a wedding where the couple wanted the pastor to read a particular poem during the ceremony. He started to read, but halfway through, he stopped, said he couldn’t finish reading it, He told us the poem was in the program if we wanted to read the rest.
The theme of the poem was that “even though we are going to be married, I will still be my own person and pursue my own interests.”
Not surprisingly, that couple is now divorced. It took a while. She waited until their daughters were out of school (seems to be the magic divorce time) and then she left her husband and moved in with an old boyfriend from high school.
If you never intend to be one flesh in marriage, don’t be shocked when it ends.
The concept of “One Flesh” is not just about the body, it’s about the whole person.
If we are one flesh, it is impossible to be separated. You can’t make one person into two. That division is painful, and you see the resulting injury in people who have divorced. When we are one, it causes us to feel the pain our spouse is feeling, and our spouse’s sin becomes harmful to us as well. For better or for worse, everything happens to you as a team.
So what are some ways you can be “one flesh” with your spouse? There are three ways to dedicate ourselves to God in 1 Thessalonians 5:23:
“Now, may the God of peace himself cause you to be completely dedicated to him; and may your spirit, soul, and body be kept intact and blameless at our Lord Jesus Christ’s coming.” -1 Thessalonians 5:23
These can apply to our dedication to our spouse as well.
The Body: Physical intimacy
It probably goes without saying that sex is one way we become one flesh, but there is even more to it than meets the eye.
Studies have shown, that men transfer their DNA to their female partners and that women carry the DNA and the male genes of their sexual partners in their bodies for many years, if not for the rest of their lives. It’s called microchimerism for you fellow word nerds out there.
When we are intimate with our spouse, we fuse together at the DNA level, literally making us one flesh.
The Soul: Emotionally Connected
Before we marry, we often have other support systems in place to take care of our emotional needs. After we marry, go to your spouse to meet those needs. Don’t let other people fulfill your need for emotional closeness. Don’t allow yourself to go to your best friends, parents, siblings, or anyone else before you talk to your spouse. You cannot be one flesh with all those other people between you.
Spirit: A Spiritual Bond
You can only have a stable, fulfilling marriage by becoming one in spirit as well. I often think of marriage as a triangle between a husband, wife, and God. Without Him the marriage is incomplete. And the stronger each partners relationship is with God, the stronger that connection between all parties becomes.
To keep yourself as one flesh with your spouse spiritually, there are a few things you should try.
Read and study the Bible. If you aren’t sure where to start, try our Marriage Confetti devotionals for couples. You’ll learn more about yourself, your spouse and God’s plan for marriage and how to keep it healthy.
Worship together privately. Pray together. Help each other to be accountable. No one is perfect, so don’t try and make your spouse think you are. Admit your failings and ask for their help as you try to improve yourself.
Is there a ministry at church that you both take an interest in? Why not do it together. Maybe start a ministry together that doesn’t exist in your church right now.
If you haven’t done these things together before, it may seem awkward at first. Give it time, and you will notice a closer connection than you had before.
Satan is out to tear marriages apart. The world tells us that our bodies belong to us and we should be able to do whatever we want with them. It will try to pull you away from your home that you have worked hard to build. They tell you to be independent and go after what you want no matter what and then you will fit in with them.
I only want to fit in with my husband, who is flesh of my flesh.
Which of these is an area where you struggle to be one with your spouse?
Do you have doubts about your marriage? Do you fight often or feel distant? Download our 7 Mindsets that will help you improve your marriage.
“Guitar” flickr photo by D()MENICK https://flickr.com/photos/pdomenick/26758807947 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-ND) license