I WAS WRONG!
“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother,
and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24).
I have always taught that Oneness is the first principle of marriage. However, I was wrong. Before God speaks about becoming “one flesh,” He first introduces three basic principles for marriage. How could I not see that before?
THE FRUITFUL ANOINTING
The first one, of course, is mandated in the very first words that God ever spoke into the ears of man, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish (fill) the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion…” (Genesis 1:28).
Fruitfulness is the overriding blessing God has given to marriage. God is a God who loves fruitfulness and He looks for fruitfulness in each marriage. It is the first blessing that He gave to man, for these words were not only a mandate from God, but His blessing. Genesis 1:28 says, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful…” This blessing is reiterated all through the Bible. Psalm 107:38 says, “He blesses them and they multiply greatly.”
The divine plan of “one flesh” marriage is to embrace the spirit of fruitfulness.
THE HELPING WIFE
The next thing we read about God’s plan for marriage is in Genesis 2:18, “And the Lord God said, It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helpmeet for him.”
The Hebrew word for helpmeet is ezer and means “helper, to come to one’s aid.” Although the husband and wife work together in their powerful directive to take dominion on this earth for God, He specifically gave the ministry of helping to the wife. Is this insignificant? No, it is powerful. This is the first time ezer is used in the Bible, and yet it is the same word that is used to describe God, who is our “Help and my deliverer” (Psalms 40:17) The spirit of helping, in the same way God comes to our aid to help us, is also the backdrop of “one flesh” marriage.
THE CLEAVING HUSBAND
We read in Genesis 2:24, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” The word cleave in the Hebrew is dabaq and means “to cling or adhere to, abide, follow hard after, be joined together, to stick to.” A husband is to be totally faithful to his wife. He is to be glued to his wife. He has no other rival than his wife.
It is also true that the wife is to cleave to her husband, but this characteristic is particularly pinned on the husband. God never intended a man and woman to become “one flesh” except in the confines of a faithful and covenantal marriage. It is not an independent act. Fruitfulness, faithfulness, and helpfulness are the basis of this godly institution.
Ramban writes, “First one must cleave to his wife, then they will become one flesh. There can be no true oneness of the flesh without first experiencing a cleaving together of the heart.”
THE ONE FLESH ANOINTING
With God’s full understanding of faithfulness and fruitfulness we embrace the “one flesh” marriage. Yes, it also means that we are to be one in spirit, purpose, and vision. But, it is physical “one flesh.” We are to embrace this wholly as it is the heat of the marriage relationship. Oops. I just made a typing error! meant to type, “the heart of the marriage,” but I think we could also call it the “heat of the marriage.”
God reiterates this vision in the New Testament in Matthew 19:4-5 and again in 1 Corinthians 7:4-5, “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not.”
Because God said, “they shall be one flesh,” it should be a familiar part of each marriage. He did not say that they would be occasionally one flesh, but one flesh. I am sure that means consistently one flesh. However, because many couples have not embraced the foundational principles for “one flesh” that God established, they do not walk in the full anointing of “one flesh” that God intends. To experience the fullness of God’s plan, we have to embrace it all, not just what we think suits us.
Reuven Bulka writes, “Marriage is not simply living the same as before but with someone else. Nor is it simply a change of lifestyle with added benefits and duties. Marriage is, and should be lived, as a higher dimension of existence. All that goes on prior to marriage ideally prepares for marriage, but marriage itself is a fresh start in the way life was meant to be.”
We should not expect to live our marriage according to the status quo of couples who choose their own way for marriage. We must embrace a higher way, a way that transcends the natural for it is God-planned. Embrace God’s way and all that He has planned for you in your marriage.
Love from Nancy Campbell
“Thank you, Father, for showing me the way you want me to live my marriage. I thank you that your way is the way that brings joy, blessing and peace. Amen.”
I am embracing all that God has designed for my marriage.