Of course, the fullness of this idea can not be fully explained. Man and women are one flesh.
But it’s worth noticing that nobody says Man and women will come to share one mind. That’s what I thought it was supposed to mean. But experience doesn’t bare that out.
In fact, that possibility is a little bit horrifying. The idea that we might lose our individuality. And it doesn’t seem like a particularly good idea. I don’t need another me. I’ve already got one, and it’s quite enough, thank you. Turning my wife into another me would be a bad idea. And I think she’d say the same about herself: turning me into another version of her wouldn’t help things much either.
As couples we’re at our best when our brokenesses complement each other, when we cover for each other, when we can become greater than our parts, rather than just becoming some composite.
After nearly 14 years of marriage, I’ve come to a much stranger understanding of what it means to be one flesh.
Have you ever seen those people that we used to call Siamese twins? I guess it’s more respectful to call them conjoined twins… People that might have been typical twins but ended up connected bodily? That’s much more of what it’s like to share one flesh.
When we hear the idea that we will be joined in one flesh, it sounds like a promise that things will be made easier. But what it actually is, is a warning: in marriage, things are about to get much more complicated.
For me, more than most, marriage is an amazing thing. It was in the context of being married that I found Christ. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
Being one flesh with another person is like kicking things up a notch. It’s like getting to the advanced level of a video game, or the final round of jeapordy. It’s one thing to interact in a Christ-like way with people whom we are not one flesh with. God knows that this is hard enough. But when we are one flesh?
There’s no hiding from them. (Remember how Adam and Eve hid? Not only from God, but also, apparently, from each other… they were not acting like one flesh.) All false modesty aside, I can come across as a pretty nice and together guy. One of the things I am thankful for, about my wife, is that she knows who I really am. And that person is not as good, and holy, and together, as lots of people think.