Written by: Rev. Nathan Hill
…and the two shall become one flesh. This is a statement from Scripture that we read so often at wedding ceremonies and refer to often when we speak of married couples. Rightly so, since it finds itself penned by three different biblical authors in both testaments and across several genres of writing.
Obviously this cannot be a literal joining of flesh. When I get up and go to work in the morning and my wife stays at home with the kids there is not some super elastic flesh that stretches the divide between my office and my house. Rather, this combining must be something less tangible, something more fundamental, something perhaps soulish or spiritual.
Life seems to have greater depth and meaning when two people share it together. A partner for life is not just someone who endures you forever. Rather, a partner for life is someone to share our daily activities with so that we can experience what John calls abundant life.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10 ESV)
In my life I have been blessed with a partner to share my life’s journey with. Our family’s call to ministry took place about the same time that we began to move our friendship towards marriage. Since then our lives have taken many twists and turns; however, we have remained of one mind and one flesh with respect to our call to ministry. Although my wife has pursued her own education and her own aspirations, our life’s larger focus has been shaped by God’s call. Even though I am the one with the title and the salary, there are many ways that my wife has shared discernment in difficult situations and has contributed her talents to the work that we share.
No matter what your life’s calling is, pursuing it together as one flesh with your partner for life will be more fulfilling and meaningful than pursuing it on your own. There is still room for individual pursuits and interests but the overall focus of your life needs to be in focus with one another.
Don’t just take my word for it, check it out for yourself! …and the two shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24, Mark 10:8, Ephesians 5:31).