Blueprint for Marriage - Four

God's blueprint includes leaving father and mother and cleaving unto your wife. It also includes the idea of becoming one flesh. What does it mean to be one flesh?

1. The most elementary concept is that of sexual relationship or physical union. (1 Corinthians 6:16;  Hebrews 13:4)

2. The marriage act is the symbol or culmination of a more complete oneness, of a total giving of oneself to another person. God's intention is that within the bonds of marriage there is to be a total sharing of  everything - bodies, possessions, insights, ideas, abilities, problems, successes, suffering, and failures. This concept of total giving means being concerned about the other person's needs as much  as you are concerned about your own. (Ephesians 5:8; Proverbs 31:12,22)

3.  We need to realize that total intimacy and unity do not mean total uniformity or sameness. Marriage partners will be very different in some respects, but those differences must not be allowed to hinder their unity. God's purpose for marriage is total unity.

Oneness is not easily achieved, and we need to understand what hinders the achievement of this oneness in marriage. Sinfulness is a problem each partner must deal with if marital unity is to be achieved. One usually deals with sin by trying to cover it up as did Adam and Eve in the garden. They first tried to hide their sin from God, and then they tried to hide from each other. Their openness and oneness with each other were gone. We need to be aware of some particular sins that work to destroy the marriage relationship. They are the sins of pride, selfishness, bitterness, ingratitude, stubbornness, unwholesome speech, neglect, impatience, cruelty, and harshness, to name a few.

God's answer is found in a right relationship with Jesus Christ that beings us peace with God and also helps us rightly relate to each other. It is Jesus Christ who breaks down barriers, destroys walls, cleanses sin, breaks the power of reigning sin, sets prisoners free, and enables men and women to leave their father and mother to cleave to each other and become one flesh.