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Principles and Practices of Biblical Parenting

– Raising Godly Children –

Paul and Linda Bucknell

One Great Team: Dad & Mom #2

Great Teammates | Biblical Teaching on Marriage Oneness
Barriers to Marital Oneness | Importance of Oneness on Children
Three Models to Practice Oneness | Summary & Questions

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Biblical Teaching on Marital Oneness


Biblical Teaching on Marital Oneness, part 2 of 6 of 'One Great Team', provides insights into key biblical passages that instruct us about marriage and how it is to operate. This is a section from the book, Principles & Practices of Biblical Parenting.

Biblical Teaching on Marriage Oneness

The husband and wife team spirit is based on the oneness God established with marriage. Many couples have been disappointed with marriage because they founded their marriage on romantic notions. Every couple though has the opportunity to focus on this oneness, but unfortunately very few do.

Marriage Math:  1+1=2Oneness is a foundational teaching that can have a profound effect on marriages and families. One finds distortions of this teaching in the world, but the clear teaching comes from God's Word.

When speaking about the origin and nature of marriage, we must turn to the early chapters of Genesis to see what God said soon after He created man and woman.

"For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24).

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Genesis actually says, "They shall become one flesh." The word 'they' refers of course to Adam and Eve the world's first two people, but it can be applied to any man taking a wife in marriage. Jesus' own reflections on this teaching help further emphasize the concept of oneness and teammates.

"And He (Jesus) answered and said, "Have you not read, that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, 'FOR THIS CAUSE A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER, AND SHALL CLEAVE TO HIS WIFE; AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'?" Consequently they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." (Matthew 19:4-6).

Jesus said Matthew 19:4-6, "No longer two, but one flesh."

Instead of 'they,' Jesus describes them as 'two.' "The two shall become one flesh... They are no longer two, but one flesh. ...What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate." Marriage is the ultimate super glue where there is no longer any division of the original two objects. They have been fused together for life.

This 'oneness' concept is built in to marriage, but we need to allow this fact (truth) to influence and shape how we think about each other and ourselves. Book this is based on: Principles and Practices of Biblical ParentingFor example, since they are one, they should stop thinking or treating themselves as two separate individuals with independent lives.

In Christian tradition this has resulted in the practice of a wife giving up her family name to take on the husband's surname.

I remember when we first got married. We delighted in giving up our own bank accounts and forming one joint account. I can still see the gleam in the eyes of my wife when she signed some checks using her new name.

Pause for Reflection:

Do you think of yourselves as one or two? What actual steps have you taken in your marriage that confirms this? Name one or two things.

When the body is divided it just doesn't work  well.

The changes, however, must go beyond this. This oneness concept must change how we perceive each other. For example, we must refuse to compete with each other but rather to live in co-operation with each other. Have you ever heard one spouse saying to the other, "What about my time?" or "What about my money?" This is the competitive perspective that counters the oneness spirit.

The Apostle Paul helps us understand this when he says that the husband and wife are like one body. When they care for each other, they are in fact caring for their own selves.

"So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church" (Ephesians 5:28,29).

Paul's concept of the body certainly helps us think through different situations we as couples find ourselves in. He basically just tells us what we all know: If something is part of your body, you will treat it well. If your finger hurts, you will take care of it. Because of this fact, we decide to conform all our thoughts, words and actions to building each other up. We purpose not to be competitive but complimentary.

Scriptures typically quoted from the New American Standard Bible unless noted: (C) Copyright The Lockman Foundation 1988

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