Why One Flesh?

Dan Lenington on February 7, 2013

Our culture increasingly views fatherhood and motherhood as acceptable without the key event called marriage. In fact, much of the media openly mocks married life as dull, restrictive, and undesirable. Many wonder why it's even worth it since divorce is expensive, and newer generations wonder why they "need the government to sanction their relationship." Some argue that they need to live together to see if they like each other. So why do we bother with marriage? God declares that the purpose of marriage is to make two individuals into "one flesh." So what does one flesh mean, and why is it important? Scripture gives five products of a proper one flesh union.

1. Partnership: Genesis 2:18, 21-24 - Eve was the God given helper for Adam whom he declared was as unbreakably bonded to him as his own body. The marriage bond was meant to be stronger even than relationships with family. We all need a partner we can depend on.

2. Parenting: Malachi 2:13-16 - God declared that He was ignoring Israel's expressions of worship due to the sorrow caused by their divorces. God designed two to become one so godly offspring could be produced. God hates divorces because it hurts everyone involved, especially the kids.

3. Permanency: Matthew 19:3-6 - The Pharisees asked Christ if divorce is permitted for any reason. Christ first reminded them of the glorious uniqueness of male and female. Then, He says that when two become one, it is an inseparable union. God holds the sole authority over all marriage not an individual or government. Man cannot legitimately overrule that authority.

4. Purity: 1 Corinthians 6:15-18 - Paul reminds us that a believer's body is owned by Christ, so he must never indulge in adultery. Adultery unites the body of Christ with sexual sin, which is unthinkable! We must run from sexual sin because it drags the body of Christ into a corrupt one flesh union, and it destroys our whole being.   

5. Passion: Ephesians 5:28-31 - A man should love and care for his wife as he loves and cares for his own body. Because of the one flesh union, loving your wife is loving yourself. A proper one flesh union unites the body of Christ and provides a healthy and unselfish context for passion. Christ's sacrificial love for the church is our supreme example.

Often men and sometimes women are characterized as being afraid of commitment especially in marriage, and its often true. Marriage really is all about commitment. Men sometimes think they don't want to be tied down in a committed relationship, but without commitment, there can be no real trust, dependability, security, or closeness. God instituted marriage as the foundation of the home, for He knew that in this fragile, sinful life, we would need its security and commitment. Interestingly, marriage won't be needed in heaven. Do you have or will you seek a "one flesh" marriage?