Three shifts in thinking to grow your understanding of what it means to be one with your spouse.
It’s clear to me that oneness between husband and wife is a gift that God grants us when we wed. You and your spouse are one by virtue of the fact that you entered into the marriage covenant. (It’s a direct parallel of our oneness with Christ when we give our lives to him).
While oneness is yours, it takes of lifetime of growth in our understanding to fully enjoy the fruit of being one. (Just like in our spiritual walk.)
Thinking As One
Walking together as “one flesh” usually entails some pretty radical changes in our thinking. But getting our thinking right will usually bear fruit in our words and actions. As Graham Cooke says, “Every action is rooted in the thought that produced it.”
While many of our perspectives have to change in order for us to walk in the fullness of our one-flesh union, below are three changes in thinking I see as an essential place to start.
Get vs. Give
It’s natural to think primarily about what we get out of our marriage relationship and what we can get from our spouse, but that is not one-flesh thinking.
One-flesh thinking says that because we are one, when I give to my wife, I actually also get to enjoy the benefit and blessing the comes from my generosity toward her. I can’t bless my wife without also blessing myself.
Rights vs. Relationship
Another shift toward one-flesh thinking is to put your relationship ahead of your rights. When you lay down your right to be offended, your right to get your way, and even your right to be right, it brings grace into the equation. And grace is always an invitation to intimacy.
It is more important to be love than to be right.
Me vs. We
Me-centered thinking has no place in your one-flesh marriage. Self-centered thinking includes such things as self-protection, self-reliance, selfishness and self-importance. These thought patterns produce separation instead of intimacy.
Being one means we replace me-centered thinking with we-centered thinking. That means replacing self-protection with transparency and openness toward your spouse. It also means working to protect your relationship and your spouse more than your self. Allow self-reliance to morph gladly into mutual interdependence. We must learn to let go of selfishness, where our own needs are the focus of our attention and efforts, and joyfully focus more on our spouse’s needs.
There are many other implications that come from the fact that you and your spouse are actually one. Can you describe any other ways of thinking that are important for living as one flesh? Leave a comment with your ideas.