“Becoming one flesh” goes deeper than most of us can comprehend. Unfortunately, many do not ever recognize its true strength until they experience divorce. Even then, most are quick to blame everything on their soon-to-be ex-spouse, not realizing the bond their union created and the near impossibility of breaking it.
Becoming one flesh (marrying) unites a couple spiritually, physically, emotionally and mentally. In a society that fights for individual independence, we ignore the ramifications of this union. When nurtured and fed, this union will carry a marriage relationship to its highest heights. At the other extreme is a couple divorcing; they will experience their lowest lows.
Couples that willingly meld together to become one find a peace and harmony that is difficult to achieve outside of marriage or as a single person. This peace and harmony is the staple that provides the wonderful benefits of marriage.
In I Peter the third chapter, Peter is talking to husbands and wives. In verse eight he tells them, “Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.” (KJ version) The NIV version says, “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.”
If couples would follow this one verse in their marriage, they would quickly find success.
The KJ version says, “Be of one mind”, a major part of becoming one flesh. That means try to understand what the other person thinks and feels. Open your mind to their thoughts and beliefs without judgment or condemnation. Agree to disagree when necessary and learn to compromise. Amazingly, though, you will find that after numerous years together, a couple will start believing the same things and feeling the same way once they begin to understand each other.
The NIV version says to “Live in harmony”. Understanding, being of one mind and compromise will bring harmony into a relationship.
This verse goes on to talk about compassion. If you practice empathy and compassion for your spouse, you will quickly learn to understand them. Learn why they feel and think the way they do. How did their childhood or past experiences influence their thoughts and feelings? As you learn these private details about your spouse, you will also bring your relationship to a deeper level of intimacy.
The NIV version adds to “be humble.” That is a crucial part of marriage. Humility means to get your pride out of the way and to get your SELF out of the way. When trying to understand your spouse and becoming one-minded, you cannot allow your pride to interfere. That is when you become judgmental and condemning. Look at the world through their eyes and their experiences. It will open up a whole new world for you.
To be continued…