Jump Start # 2132
Genesis 2:24 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”
One of the great principles of marriage is the two becoming one. This is much more than a physical union, but it’s one in principles, goals, dreams, parenting, finances and even spiritually. Two becoming one. The mathematics of marriage is special. Because outside of marriage, one and one equals two. But in a marriage, one and one become one.
What makes this especially unique is that the two one’s, the man and the woman, are so different. They look different. They have different backgrounds. They are different emotionally. Even practically, they have different food choices, movie tastes, sleep habits and they require different amounts of time to get ready. Men and women even approach problems differently and they think differently. Men tend to be in the fix it mode, and women in the conversation mode. So different, yet, Biblically, the two become one.
And, when the mathematics of marriage is not understood, couples do not seem to be one. They appear to be at odds with each other on so many matters. It can get to a breaking point when they do not see any reason to continue on together. “We are so different,” becomes the rally cry to go their separate ways. The two never learned to become one. They never figured out the mathematics of marriage.
So, how does one and one equal one in a marriage.
First, when a couple develops the team concept. They work together, not against each other. They realize what one does impacts the other. This makes them think about how the other would feel before something is said or done. They understand, helping the other, helps the total marriage. So, learning to communicate in ways that the other will understand, defending each other, supporting each other, are common principles of a team concept. When one feels that they are carrying the whole load and the other is just free loading, that lopsided relationship will deteriorate. In this together. On the same page. Discussing things. Give and taking. Doing what the other wants and putting the choices of the other ahead of your own. One and one equals one. One person commented, “when two become one, the question is, which one.” It’s neither. They have blended together like two streams flowing together to make a mighty river.
Second, when a couple understands the principle of the thermostat. There is a difference between a thermometer and a thermostat. The thermometer tells the temperature. It can tell if a child has a fever. It can tell how warm or how cool it is outside and inside. But the thermometer cannot change the temperature. A thermostat can warm up a room or cool it down. A thermostat changes the temperature. And when a couple understands this, they can change the temperature of their relationship. If things are too icy, they can warm it up. It if is too heated, they can cool it down. Proverbs reminds us that a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. That’s thermostat. Shouting, whining, nagging, crying, threats, using guilt, are all ploys and emotional tricks to get what one wants. Children do that all the time. Adults continue to do that, especially in a marriage. Paul told the Corinthians, “Love does not take into account a wrong suffered.” Peterson translated that expression as, “Love doesn’t keep score.” Have you ever played a game and didn’t keep score. It changes the game. Often, when I golf by myself, I won’t keep score. In marriage, the language of scoring keeping is: you always, or you never. Always and never. Someone has been keeping track. Someone has been keeping score. Love doesn’t do that. One and one equals one when the principle of the thermostat is understood.
Third, when a man takes on the role of being a point man. That’s a military concept. While out on patrol, there will be one man ahead of the unit. He is the eyes and ears for the soldiers behind him. It is his job to make sure that they are not walking into a trap. And, in a marriage, this responsibility falls to the man. He is the head of the house. This does not mean he sits in the best chair and he gets the remote. It means he is the eyes and the ears of the family. He is not going to put the family in unnecessary danger, financially or spiritually. He must be alert to what is going on in the home. He understands the enemy and realizes that Satan is just outside the door. He will sacrifice what he wants for what is best for the family. He shepherds his family, just as the elders shepherds the flock. He sees that his wife and children are not just healthy, but that they are growing spiritually and that they are doing well emotionally. His decisions and his leadership can make all the difference for his family. I’ve seen far too many times where mom is a Christian and she comes with the kids, but dad is no where to be found on Sunday morning. His absence from worship is just the beginning. Moral teachings, spiritual examples, daily prayers, connecting with the Lord through the Word, just doesn’t happen. He’s AWOL spiritually. It effects the kids. He and his wife never became one in the greatest sphere that God has designed, spiritually. His none interests in spiritual things leaves out God’s wisdom and guidance as he makes decisions. His character never becomes what it could have been.
I believe more teaching needs to be developed on this aspect. Men need to get off the couches and start leading. Complaining that they are too tired or they don’t like to, just doesn’t cut it. The family is following you in a jungle. If you are clueless or indifferent, the family will become easy targets for the enemy.
One and one equals one. The magical mathematics of marriage. When understood, it’s a beautiful thing. When not understood, disaster takes place.