The Two Shall Be One


unity-candle1Putting it all together.

The last two days have been spent looking at the individual roles of the woman and the man in a marriage.  Today let’s put it all together and see what happens.

Let’s look at our Bible text again before we start.

21 And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

22 For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23 For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. 24 As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.

25 For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.[a] 27 He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. 28 In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. 29 No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. 30 And we are members of his body.

31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”[b] 32 This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. 33 So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:21-33 (New Living Translation)  Emphasis mine.

If you reread the first verse it gives the context that the rest of the passage should be read with, submit to one another.  This is a lot different than the common thinking that goes along with this passage.  For years we have been taught that the woman is to submit to the man and the man is to be the leader.  But I don’t think that is what this passage implies.  I believe it implies exactly what it says, submit to each other.  Wives should submit to the spiritual leadership of the man, but this implies that the man should actually BE the spiritual leader.  He should lead by example, just as Christ did, he should lead through serving.  Jesus washed the disciples feet, fed them, took care of them, taught them and loved them.

As a husband I let my wife lead in several areas, the children, making our house a home, medical providers, education of the children, the amount of time I spend with my family.  These are her God-given talents that I don’t have.  My talents are making decisions ( my wife can research something to death but has a hard time deciding how to use that info to make a choice), fixing things around the house, disciplining the children etc…  We both have our strengths and we both have our weaknesses.  Together, we make a complete and strong person.  I think that was God’s idea from the beginning.  Adam needed a helpmate, someone that would, to use the phrase from the movie Jerry McGuire, complete him.  In verse 31 above it says that the two are united into one.  Two separate people united to make one complete whole.

My wife and I realized early on that we need each other to balance ourselves out.  My wife is very emotional, she tends to go a little crazy every now and then.  I, on the other hand, am very unemotional, I tend to not react or care about things.  Together we balance each other out.  When she goes all emotional she comes to me and asks me if she is over reacting and then usually listens to my response.  I need her to keep me from becoming a robot with no feelings and just being an uncaring jerk.  I watch her reaction to things and then gauge how I should react.  Balance!becoming_Two-in-One_flesh

Like I wrote earlier, my wife has a hard time making choices.  When our first child had just started getting to the age of being able to play and learn my wife researched those activity center play areas for two weeks.  She was on the computer, on the phone with the companies and at the store doing hands on research.  Finally she came to me and said, “I have narrowed it down to three different sets, which one should we buy?”  I told her I didn’t know, she had done all the research, she should choose.  That’s when I began to learn what my wife needed from me, a decision maker.  She got a helpless look on her face and said she couldn’t choose, all three were great and all three had different things that she liked.  So I loaded her and my son in the car and we went to every ones favorite store- Wal-Mart.  We looked at all three and she extolled the virtues and drawbacks of each one.  She was right, they were all pretty good.  So I stared at them for a little while and then pointed at one and said, “That’s the one.  Put it in the cart, were going to the register.”  She stopped and looked at me and asked why I picked that one.  I got a sly smile on my face and said, “I like the colors better, more manly.”  I thought she was going to have a stroke.  I told her, “You told me to pick, I picked and that’s the one were getting, let’s go.”  She paused and then said, “I can live with that.”

We have been like that every since.  We have learned to lead within our own strengths and trust the other to lead within theirs.

The Bible shows the way a wife is to love her husband- respect.

And the way a husband should love his wife- cherish.

Both words mean different things.  Cherish means to to entertain or harbor in the mind deeply and resolutely.  While respect means high or special regard.  Two distinct ways to show love for two distinct forms of one person, man and woman.

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Tomorrow- When It All Falls Apart

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