Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife and the two of them shall become one flesh.” (ABPE) Matthew 19:5
Recently our oldest son flew the coop taking flight from the nest. It's been both bitter and sweet. Bitter because he's the first child to officially leap out of the nest and into the winds of life. Scary because he didn't just move a short distance away but half way round the globe, chasing a dream he's had since he was thirteen years old. It was a dream he never thought would be fulfilled, but as it all unfolded in such a miraculous way, it was clear it was a divine appointment. The difficulty has come in letting him go and the joy has come in watching him fly.
In our hearts we also know that this flight will probably not only lead to his destiny in career and calling but also eventually into cleaving to the one he will marry. The scripture in Matthew listed above is a beautiful picture of the journey of a son leaving home in order to find his own identity so he can offer his name to the woman of his dreams, cleaving to her for better or for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health until death does part them. The word cleave in Hebrew is the word debaq, which means "to glue together or to be closely joined, never to be severed."
As I pondered that definition it reminded me of the first married couple recorded in history. There has never been a marriage more glued together than Adam and Eve’s. When God created the first man from the dust of the earth and then acknowledged his aloneness, instead of using more dirt for Eve, God literally formed her from the very flesh and bones of her husband. They were not only spiritually joined but literally, physically fused. She came from his very being as a part of his flesh and blood. The word debaq in this Scripture is an expression of the purest and closest union that can exist between man and woman. Amazingly, in the original Scripture, before present translations, the word “two” did not even appear. Adam and Eve were never two; they were always one, and God created them to be fused together forever.
In order for us to experience this same oneness, which is not literally or scientifically possible, we must understand it's spiritually and sexually possible. If we embrace a relationship with our Heavenly Father, entering into a covenant with our husband in marriage, we can become completely one. We can walk into the union of marriage and experience oneness through intimacy despite our sexual differences. When we recognize our differences are actually pieces of a beautiful picture that can only be created when connected together, we realize our differences reveal the other part of who we've been created to be through gluing ourselves to our spouse. By joining together through sexuality we truly become one flesh in and out of the bed chamber.
As I analyzed this Scripture further, I really wanted a visual picture to describe this idea in a more tangible way. One night while watching a popular news show, I got my wish. I saw an inspiring story-line giving me an interpretation of the Scripture and the beauty of what it truly means. The reporter was interviewing a set of Siamese twins in their late teens who had been born joined at the hips. They were born at a time when doctors rarely separated conjoined twins; therefore, they had spent their entire life joined at the hip but facing in opposite directions. Since birth, they had learned how to communicate with each other from opposite perspectives. They learned how to help each other accomplish their goals despite their different views. They carried on their daily responsibilities successfully even though they were headed in two different directions. Their example paints a beautiful picture of oneness and challenges us to reach for this kind of union in marriage.
After watching the news report, I’m convinced if these twins can learn to overcome their opposite views, so can we. As husband and wife, we see things from two completely different perspectives and yet God expects us to be joined at the hip sexually. We can learn to work together using our different perspectives to reach our goals even though we see things from opposite view points. We may be facing in different directions, but we can successfully walk out life and our daily responsibilities together in one flesh through Christ. God is the third and only strand that wraps our hearts and bodies together. His love for us in that union gives us everything we need to succeed at intimacy and life long marriage. He gave us our differences to motivate us towards oneness by forcing us to work together instead of using our differences to tear each other apart.
What are a few of the differences between the sexes?
When it comes to physical oneness, we all know men and women are very different. We look at life from two different frames of reference just like the conjoined twins. Men are visually driven, and they often want what they see. Women, however, are emotionally driven and they usually want what they can feel. The beauty of this difference forces us to work together to create physical magic. We have to allow those differences to unite us in order to create one, amazing sexual picture. If we were both emotional, then emotions would get in the way every time. If we were both motivated by physical desire alone, we would have no emotional connection. God gave us each opposite parts of the puzzle so when we unite the different pieces they form a beautiful masterpiece. God gave us these two differing perspectives to hold us accountable to the covenant of marriage. In order to stay glued together, marital oneness requires us to be selfless. When we become one flesh with our spouse through sexual intimacy, it's the glue that holds our kingdom together when everything else around us is falling apart.
I am reminded of a statement I heard openly a few times when I was growing up. “If your marriage is good outside the bedroom it will be good inside the bedroom. If it’s not good inside the bedroom it won’t be good outside the bedroom.” I had no idea then what it meant, but as a married adult I've come to understand it. Our differences will appear both inside and outside the palace bed chamber. How we relate in each place shapes and affects the other. Just as the twins learned from birth how to make their differences work for them, we too have to learn from the beginning of our "I do's" how to share our contrasting ideas in light of our identity as male and female. Since we see life from two completely different angles, we have to communicate openly in order to figure out how to put the pieces together. It's a must if we want our sexual union to become a treasure of fine art. We have to learn how to carry out our goals despite our differences through open communication about what we see from our point of view. Finally, we have to learn to verbalize our thoughts, ideas, and feelings in a healthy way both in and outside the bedroom. This is so we don’t head in two different directions, missing the sweet communion God has designed for us to experience while doing life glued together emotionally and physically at the hip.
As you reflect on these ideas, remember you can learn more about sexuality in marriage, the scientific differences that make sex great, and all the reasons we were created to physically join at the hip, by checking out my book, "Chaos in the Castle or Peace in the Palace?" I think you'll find powerful answers to many questions you may have about matters of the heart and the bed chamber in Chapters 12-15. The answers to those questions are empowering and freeing to us all as women. They make for an enlightening read on what the Bible and the science books actually say about Sex!
Do you want to live in a war-torn castle or a peaceful palace?
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