Hi this is pastor Ken and this is my Monday Marriage Message. The Right Questions…
Matthew 19:3-6 The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.”
Jesus found it necessary to do two things for these Pharisees to help them have a better understanding of what they were asking. First He chose to take them back to the beginning. So often as was the case with these men, we want answers to our questions. What we don’t realize is that our questions are flawed due to our skewed perception and so an answer to our question as stated will simply propel our flawed thinking. Jesus understood this. The Pharisees were asking a question about divorce. Divorce is a result of flawed thinking, therefore any primary answer to that question would have served only to keep the conversation headed in a flawed direction. Jesus first had to correct the direction of the conversation and did so. How? He answered their question about divorce in terms of marriage. He made an attempt to steer the dialogue into a much more profitable direction by talking with them about their marriages. The second thing Jesus did here was to reorient the Pharisees in terms of their skewed thinking about marriage. They were looking at marriage as a temporary condition; Jesus reiterated that God, the inventor of the institution, saw it as a lifelong covenant.
Jesus illustrated for them in terms they well understood (the Old Testament scriptures) that marriage was intended to take two people and make them one, duplicating what had been done by creating Eve from one of Adam’s ribs. Adam and Eve were one flesh from the word go. Jesus was pointing out that through marriage, God re-creates that situation for every man and woman who marry. Jesus also made it a point that it was God who had married them to their spouses, and what God does we can’t figure out in our limited ability how to undo.
The analogy I like to use is that of a loaf of bread. The baker starts out with separate ingredients. Though he may add more ingredients than oil, water, yeast and flour, those are the necessary ones. After the ingredients are mixed and have had time to rise, the dough that is formed is thoroughly mixed through the process of kneading. The baker does this with great care until the dough is just right, a compliment of just the right amount of the incorporated ingredients. That dough created just as the baker wanted, with informed intent he shapes it into loaves and places it in the oven. A short time later, the dough emerges something new…bread. In the same way the baker has taken the multiple ingredients and made them one thing that we can’t figure out how to successfully separate again, what God has joined, no one should try to separate.
We may have difficulty understanding our “one flesh” condition but it is our reality none the less. Paul certainly recognized this and called it a great mystery (Ephesians 5:32). Jesus said it though, “They are no longer two, but one flesh.” When we are walking comfortably in our new reality we have little problem accepting it, we experience trouble however when we see our oneness as a restriction instead of a blessing. In those times we can think, even if only momentarily that it would be easier if we were able to live, act and move singularly again. That is however no longer reality, nor is it even correct. Ecclesiastes tells us clearly that two are better than one. Learning to walk comfortably in our oneness with another at all times is what is best, and to some degree the learning curve is what God intends. He desires that as we learn to be one with our spouse, we will learn what it truly means to be one with Him.
Questions to Answer:
- What does being “no longer two, but one flesh” mean to you and your spouse?
- What ways do you feel as though you and your spouse are one?
- In what ways do you wish you noticed more oneness in your marriage?
Actions to Take:
- Pray together that God will help you to have a fuller understanding of your oneness and that you will be open to all that means.
So now, looking to Him to complete your understanding of the oneness you share with your spouse…Go be Awesome!