Mark 10: 6-9 says:
6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
This week’s topic in our “Embracing Your Marriage Series” is “Embracing Oneness”.
We see 2 barriers in Mark 10 to Oneness in marriage.
1.) The first barrier is our differences.
Verse 6 tells us “God made us male and female”.
Being different – male and female – immediately poses a problem in marriage. As I pointed out last week – this brings about differences which leads to disagreements and if we let these disagreements fester without resolution, they lead to a break down in communication and the marriage itself.
But God made us different for His purpose – for His glory! We are not to let those differences divide us but unite us! Marriage will require a level of selflessness that no other relationship in the world will require of us. God uses our differences to sanctify us and make us more like Him. This is his good work in our lives.
2.) The second barrier is the In-laws!
Verse 7 tells us that “a man should leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife“.
It is tempting for some guys (and wives – ahem) to let their parents meddle in their marriage. I am sure that every one of you, that have meddling in-laws, can testify to the fact that this is the WORST thing for oneness in marriage.
If you are a mother-in-law please heed the words of this verse and release your son and daughter from the pressure to please you and encourage them to do what this verse says: ” hold fast” to their spouse. Their spouse should be their first priority – not us, the parents. They should be faithful – first – to their spouse.
Friends, if you have a meddling mother-in-law. Love her. Forgive her. Give her grace. But do share this passage of scripture with your husband in a gentle, respectful way. Pray that your husband would have the courage to follow God’s word.
Understand that it’s very hard for some who have manipulative parents to break those ties. If he is caught in an unhealthy cycle, he may not be emotionally and spiritually equipped to change without outside help and your patience, support, encouragement and prayers. It will be a process not an overnight victory – 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Do not let this tear you both apart – as verse 9 says – do not let “man separate” what God has joined together. Stay strong – stay faithful to your husband and faithful in prayer for your marriage.
Addendum: Wives, let’s not forget to love our husbands by loving his parents and family. It’s important that we selflessly love them like we love our own family. It will hurt our husband to not love and care for his family or to try to pull him away in an unhealthy manner. Just as it is not Biblical for for a mother-in-law to meddle, it is not Biblical for us to selfishly demand that things always be done our way. This is a tightrope walk. I know it is not easy but if we walk closely with the Lord he will give us the wisdom we need to make it through each day and love our in-laws as God would have us love them.
Now, here are 2 ways in Mark 10 that oneness comes in marriage.
1.) We are one flesh!
Verse 8 says, “and the two shall become one flesh.“
The covenant of marriage makes us one flesh. It is not the declaration of love between two people. Many people love their boyfriend or girlfriend deeply – that does not make them one flesh. Many people live together and share finances – this does not make them one flesh.
The marriage covenant is what makes a male and female one emotionally, spiritually, sexually, and financially. This relationship is to come before all others.
Declaring independence within marriage is the surest way to separate what God has joined together. It is a rebellion against the plans of God for marriage.
2.) God does the joining!
Verse 9 says “What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Who joins the two together in union? It is not man, not the pastor, not the parents, not even the bride and groom. According to verse 9 it is GOD!
We see in this passage that God created male and female.
He created (and defined) marriage.
And God joins a bride and groom together.
Marriage is so much bigger than ourselves – it is God’s work in our lives. It is his good work in our lives.
And marriage is meant to be “as long as we both shall live.” It is not something we walk away from when the storms rage or our spouse fails to meet our expectations or words pierce and bitterness grows like a weed.
We are to “hold fast” to each other in those storms – not walk out the door.
We are to humble ourselves and say apologies and forgive and give grace over and over and over – not hang up the phone.
Marriage is meant to be – until death do us part.
But we need Jesus’ to help us do this. We simply cannot maintain this level of forgiveness and faithfulness without looking hard at the cross and remembering what Jesus has forgiven in us and his faithfulness to us.
May we strive to live as one in our marriages.
How is the oneness is your marriage?
What barriers do you face?
What ways has God brought you together through the storms?
Walk with the King,
**This post is a part of the…
This week’s group challenge is:
Spend time talking with each other. Plan to do something that provokes conversation, like a board game or a walk in the park.
September 29: Embracing Your Friendship
Today my friends pictured above are also writing on
Embracing Oneness in Your Marriage.
Please visit them!