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Marriage: Intentional Oneness!




Four times in God’s Word it says that when a man leaves his mom and dad and is marries to his wife, they become united as one flesh.


In Genesis, God had created the heavens and the earth, all the animals on the earth and then he created Adam.  Let’s pick it up at Genesis 2:20b-23.


“But for Adam no suitable helper was found.  So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh.  Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.


The man said,


“This is now bone of my bones    and flesh of my flesh;she shall be called ‘woman,’    for she was taken out of man.”


The Two Become One


Genesis 2:24  continues with “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”


Notice this verse says “a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife and they become one flesh.”  Since Adam didn’t have a father or mother, I believe that this verse is meant for everyone who gets married.


Matthew 19:5 also says  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”


Mark 10:8 says and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh.”


Ephesians 5:31 says  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”


According to the Bible, when a man marries a woman in a covenant marriage, they are to become one flesh.  That doesn’t mean that they become one flesh just physically through sexual intimacy, but it also means emotionally and spiritually as well. But, here’s the catch! Becoming one flesh doesn’t just happen. It takes intentionality. But why?


Listen, right after God created Adam and Eve, who showed up?  Yes!  Nasty old satan.  John 10:10a says that “The thief (or satan) comes to kill, steal and destroy.”  The enemy wants to steal, kill and destroy your marriage.


Satan Hates What God Creates!


Listen, satan hates whatever God creates.  God created Adam and Eve in His image and satan hates what God creates.  God has created you and your spouse and in whose image?  God’s!  And satan hates what God creates and wants to destroy you and your marriage.  You must be aware of this and not allow it to happen.


John 10:10b continues by saying “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” God wants you to have a marriage that thrives, not just survives.


But, by nature we are sinful and selfish due to the fall of Adam and Eve in the garden. Our natural tendencies is for me to pursue my wants and desires, not my spouses.  Romans 3:23 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” So our natural tendency is to head in opposite directions, not toward each other in oneness.


Adam & Eve


Let’s read about how the enemy caused Adam and Eve to disobey God in the Garden of Eden and sin entered the world in Genesis 3:1-19.


‘Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”


The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,  but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”


“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”


When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.


Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”


He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”


And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”


The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”


Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”


The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”


So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock  and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

 

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”


To the woman he said,


“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe; with painful labor you will give birth to children.Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”


To Adam he said,


“Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’


“Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.

 

It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

 

By the sweat of your brow you will eat your fooduntil you return to the ground, since from it you were taken;for dust you are and to dust you will return.”’


From Butterfly Stage to the Grave


Listen, marriage  can be one of the most challenging relationships but it can also be one of the most rewarding experiences we have.  How do we go from the Butterfly Stage to the Grave with our marriages.  We need to be Intentional In Our Oneness.


This post is going to try to address how you can be more intentional in your oneness so we can have a great marriage.


I’d like to share a story with you.  Laurie and I had been married for about 11 years.  We had 2 young daughters around 6 and 2 years old.  I was busy as a high school teacher and coaching basketball. Laurie was busy as a part-time elementary teacher and as a mom.


One day, I came home from work and Laurie told me about a marriage conference called “The Weekend to Remember” hosted by Family Life.  Her girlfriend had gone and told her it was so good that we needed to go too.  I told her to find the date and I would check my schedule.


In my mind, I was thinking our marriage was doing fine.  There was nothing obviously wrong.  Why do we need to do something like this?  To me, it seemed like a waste of time and money.


Laurie found the date and let me know. Low and behold, I just so happen to be hosting a basketball clinic the same weekend of the marriage conference.  I let Laurie know right away so she wouldn’t get her hopes up.


Laurie was adamant about going and encouraged me to find someone to run the clinic for me.  I asked one of my assistant coaches if he could and said “Yes”.  So, I reluctantly agreed to go to the marriage conference.


During the conference, I felt like God hit me over the head with a 2 by 4 that weekend.


One of the things the speakers talked about, was being intentional in your oneness.  They said because of our sin nature, we will naturally drift apart if we are not intentional in our relationship with each other.


In my workbook, there was a cartoon of a picture of a husband sitting in his living room watching tv while the wife was in the kitchen cooking.  That isn’t that unusual but there was this huge invisible brick wall drawn between the two.  When I saw the picture, I thought “That’s my mom & dad!”


My mom and dad had been married for 33 years and decided to get a divorce right after Laurie and I had just gotten married.  I was confused and frustrated.  What kind of hope did that give me for my marriage that I had just started.  I thought “How could mom and dad have 6 children, and now after 33 years of marriage come to the conclusion that they don’t love each other anymore.” I was bewildered.


A Silent Divorce


Looking at that cartoon of the husband and wife, it was a picture of my mom and dad.  I realized that over the years, mom and dad had slowly drifted apart. They held onto resentment from past hurts and built up a huge invisible wall between the two of them.  They were living together, barely tolerating each other. There was no intimacy, affection, no communication, no relationship or love. They had been living a silent divorce.


I also saw a picture of Laurie and I. I realized that if we didn’t do something different with our marriage, we could end up like my mom and dad.  I decided that weekend that I would not let that happen.


I realized that I needed to be more intentional in my oneness with her. We have tried to be more intentional in our marriage ever since then by spending quality time together, dating each other, dong things together, and having fun together


Vertical Relationship With Jesus our Primary Passion


We realized that we had to put our vertical relationship with Jesus first in our relationships and make Him our primary passion. Jesus would then help us in our horizontal relationships with each other by putting our relationship with each other second after Jesus and put children third and all other relationships after that.  Basketball, teaching and other activities had to be down the line if we to make our marriage work.


It has been found that there’s no statistical difference in happiness between arranged-marriages and love-choice based marriages. Studies show that arranged-marriage partners are nearly twice as compassionate to each other 10 years in.


Why is that?  It should not be!


“What makes arranged marriages work can be summed up in one word: Intentional Commitment. This often means that commitment to be intentional to work through issues is often put before personal needs and feelings,” explains psychologist Dr. Joseph Cilona, weighing in on Lifetime TV show, 'Married at First Sight'.


Marriages Under Attack


Listen, marriages are under attack.  There is an enemy that wants to steal, kill and destroy it.  Please, be intentional in your oneness.  You’ll be glad you did.  It’ll bless you and your family and generations to come.




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