The Oneness of Marriage

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

I heard a corny line the other day while watching television. The man took the woman’s hand in his, locked his eyes with hers, and said, “Have you ever felt like you don’t know where you end and the other person begins?”

I rolled my eyes. How cheesy. 

Or is it? Isn’t that exactly what today’s verse implies? After all, Eve was created from part of Adam as a symbol of their marital and spiritual oneness. 

At the time of Genesis, God diligently created all that we know. And to God, “it was good.” The only thing that was “not good” was that Adam was alone (Genesis 2:18). As Adam named each animal brought to him, it begs the question if he noticed that each animal had a mate, “but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him” (Genesis 2:20 NASB).

That word, suitable, stands out to me. This is why just prior to presenting the animals to Adam, God acknowledged that it was not good for Adam to be alone and said He would “make him a helper suitable for him” (vs. 18 NASB). God’s plan all along was to do this, and it’s interesting how He brought Adam to the realization of his need for a companion of like stature and nature. God made him aware of the need and then met that need.

The word suitable used in this context means a counterpart, a thing which, when added to another, completes or complements it. When two people marry, this oneness is complementary. It illustrates itself in taking care to develop and help our spouse as much as we would ourselves. Marriage is not an individual existence. It’s a joining that is dependent on the other to function properly. It involves sacrifice, allegiance, and a daily devotion to love and respect (Ephesians 5:33). And as much as it’s tempting to allow others to affect this union, Paul advises to cleave to the spouse. It’s our duty to honor that word from the Lord. 

Corny or not, to see one’s spouse as an extension of oneself is the very essence of marriage. It is God’s design for oneness; it is a suitable union and good in God’s eyes. 

DIG: What should take place in a couple’s life when they marry?

DISCOVER: Read these passages to learn more about what God expects of a marriage: Proverbs 12:14; Proverbs 31:10; Mark 10:9; John 13:34; Ephesians 4:32; Colossians 3:18-19; Hebrews 13:4.

DISPLAY: What can you do today to show the Lord and your spouse how you are committed to the oneness of your marriage?