Tag Archives: marriage

The Fear of Becoming One

Since facing marital difficulty in my marriage over twenty years ago, I have read numerous studies of divorce and marital difficulties. Although I have not done a mathematical analysis of the cause of divorce, it appears that the root cause of around 90% of them is the result of not wanting to become one with each other. One or both spouses do not want to give up their dreams of life for the sake of joint dreams with their spouse.

When God created woman, he purposely took part of the man to create the woman. Adam said:

 “This is now bone of my bones     and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’     for she was taken out of man.” Genesis 2:23(NIV)

To Adam’s comment, God replied:

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Genesis 2:24(NIV)

Throughout time, man has made things stronger by combining two different elements into one. Take iron for example. When man began to cast iron, it was heated and poured into a mold. When it became hard, it maintained the shape of the mold. The only way a person could change the shape of the object was to remove some of the unwanted iron. If you flexed the iron, it would break.

However, man discovered that if you did two things to the iron, it would become very useful. First, the iron was heated to the point that all of the impurities would come to the top and be scraped off the iron. This made a product called steel. Second, they learned they could mix other alloys with the steel, it could be used in many more applications other than the ones previously made from cast iron.

In plant life, man learned that he could take the good traits of two plants, cross-pollinate the two plants and come up with a new plant having the good traits of both plants. This process is called ‘hybridization’.

In the animal world, man learned that he could take the good traits of different breeds of animals, interbreed the animals so they would have the good traits of both breeds. This process is what creates a purebred.

Another example is the zipper on a coat. In a zipper we have two separate pieces of material that have protruding teeth. The zipper glide draws the two pieces of material together so the protruding teeth of one side of the zipper interlocks with the teeth in the other side of the zipper. When those teeth are interlocked, the garment will not separate. The zipper becomes one. When the zipper becomes one, the coat will be warmer and the person inside will feel more secure than before it was zipped.

In a marriage, the protruding teeth are the dreams and expectations of the two spouses. As couples allow their dreams to mesh, their marriage becomes stronger. Rather than losing their dreams, they a meshed together to become an even better dreams.

In a zipper when one side of the zipper attempts to mesh two teeth with one on the other side of the zipper, you will have a weak spot in the zipper that frequently causes the zipper to separate at that point. Until this problem is corrected, the zipper becomes useless. This same thing happens when one spouse attempts to place their dreams above the dreams of their spouse the marriage will develop a weak spot that will tend to unravel the marriage. To correct this problem in a marriage, there needs to be forgiveness. Sometimes we need to back up, forgive each other, and try again.

For a marriage to work properly, it is important for each spouse to listen to the other spouse and understand fully what their spouse is saying. Too many times, in an effort to protect one’s dream, people will shut out the dreams of their spouse. They will not listen to their spouse explain their position. When spouses do not understand each other’s dreams, one spouse will soon feel they have no value in the marriage and will seek a way out.

It is also important to understand that there is more than one right way to do somethings. Look at the proverbial toilet paper roll. Regardless if whether the paper comes off the top of the roll or the bottom of the roll, it can still accomplish it’s intended purpose.

If you look on the internet, you will find that there are at least two ways to boil eggs. One way is to place the eggs in cold water, heat the water until it comes to a boiling point, turn off the heat, then let the eggs stay in the water for a given length of time. A second way to boil eggs is to bring the water to a boiling point, place the eggs in the water, then let them boil for a period of time, turn off the heat and remove the eggs. Regardless of which method you use, you will get a boiled egg.

In a marriage we can become so concerned about the ‘right’ process that we fail to see the desired outcome. You can be so concerned about losing your dreams and expectations that you fail to realize the consequences of a failed marriage will have on your dream.

 

NOTE: scripture used in this blog was downloaded from http://biblegateway.com

Cohabitation or Marriage?

What does the Bible say about co-habitation?

The Bible does not directly talk about cohabitation of couples. It does however, talk about marriage. Here is what it says about marriage:

Genesis 2:24(NIV) That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

Matthew 19:4-6(NIV) “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’  and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Mark 10:7-9(NIV) ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,  and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

1 Corinthians 6:16 (NIV) Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body?

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

As I read the Bible, it is apparent that marriage does not require paperwork! It only requires that the eligible couple consensually ‘sleeps together’, in other words “become one flesh.” The only exceptions to this are the cases we consider as rape or “for profit” sexual activity.  And in those cases, it is usually referred to as adultery or prostitution.

I should also point out that having a marriage license is a civil requirement, not specifically a Biblical requirement.

The Bible does teach however,  that if a married couple gets divorced, they need to have it done in writing.

If a couple has consensual intercourse and later separate, they should have the divorce in writing. If it is not done in writing, and they later get married, they are practicing ‘polygamy’.

Cohabitation is a civil term that means the married couple is living together without meeting a civil requirement or having the civil protection of a civil marriage. People who cohabitate, experience the same, or similar feelings of divorce that a non-cohabitating, married couple experience when they divorce.

What are the advantages if cohabitation?

According to some of the research findings, these are some of the ‘advantages’ (If you want to call them that) that you can expect to experience when cohabitating:

  • Slide into a relationship (89%) (Only 23% plan on marrying)
  • Lower level of commitment to the relationship
  • Don’t pool resources (16% pool resources)
  • Joint checking accounts (16.1%)
  • Higher sexual infidelity (Twice as high as for married couples)
  • Lower “levels of closeness, love and satisfaction in intimacy dimensions”
  • Physical violence (12% if engaged to be married,15% if not engaged to be married.)
  • Less satisfaction even if they eventually marry
  • Have more marital problems when they do marry.

What are the advantages of marriage?

According to the research findings I have read, these would be some of the advantages of marriage over cohabitation:

  • High rate of intentional relationships
  • Higher level of commitment to the relationship
  • Tend to pool resources (80% pool resources)
  • Joint checking accounts (70%)
  • Higher sexual fidelity
  • Higher “levels of closeness, love and satisfaction in intimacy dimensions”
  • Physical violations of less than 4% if married without cohabitation first
  • More marital satisfaction without cohabitation prior to marriage
  • Fewer marital problems without cohabitating prior to marriage

Conclusion:

The real question here is “would you rather have a marriage the way the Bible teaches or have cohabitate based on the definition and practice of civil government?”

God has a plan for marriage. His plan is not in opposition to the civil practices regarding marital relationships. However, even if you didn’t believe the Bible or God’s plan for marriage, the results appear to be the same. Do you want the real thing, or do you want the temporary satisfaction of having your immediate, sexual gratification satisfied?

(This information comes from my reading some of the research results pertaining to the subject. The statistical information in this article comes from  an article by James E. Sheridan written for  The News-Sentinel, Wednesday, January 14, 2015 as downloaded January 23, 2015 from http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20150114/LIVING/150119967/1008

All Scripture used in this article were downloaded from http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hebrews%2011&version=NIV