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Principles and Practices of Biblical Parenting

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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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Barriers to Marital Oneness


Barriers to Marital Oneness, part 3 of 6 of 'One Great Team', uses charts to show the ways barriers creep up in marriages and slowly divides couples apart. Four common distortions of these teachings are provided. This is a section from the book, Principles & Practices of Biblical Parenting.

Barriers to Marital Oneness

The world does not understand or accept this concept of oneness. They instead live as two independent units. Unfortunately these thoughts and ways have crept into the church.

Any thought, action or habit of dealing with oneself without regard to one's partner counters the design of marriage. Far too often conflict is accepted as normal; competition is common. Note how the signs of division contrasts with the spirit of oneness.

With Divided Minds

With One Mind

Marriage is a 50/50 arrangement. Each is responsible for half.

Marriage is 100/100 covenant.

They are together for self-pleasure. No assurance of staying together.

Built on commitment to each other's good.

Each handle their own financial affairs.

Joint accounts before God. 'Our money.'

Argumentative. The louder and stronger one dominates.

Graciously listens to the other.

Struggle for leadership. There is no accepted leader.

The husband leads under Christ's headship.

The wife is treated as a servant rather than a teammate.

The wife is a prized helpmate. He can't succeed without her.

Disagreement on how to raise children.

Discuss with each other God's perspective.

Unresolved conflict causes distance between spouses.

Confess, apologize and restore affection and care.

The parents get the child involved in parental arguments.

Parents calmly discuss issues apart from children.

Expressions of Disunity

Have you heard these thoughts expressed before?

"This is my money. I will do with it as I wish!"

"I don't care where you live."

"I'll do it my way; you do it yours."

"I need my own free time."

"I need a job to be fulfilled." (wife)

When we have wrong concepts of marital 'oneness,' then they will negatively affect the way we live and think. Let's look at four of these distortions in more detail.

distortion 1

(1) Distortion: Oneness is the same as physical union

Some people have not clearly thought through this teaching on oneness and think that oneness only describes physical union. Jesus, however, clearly teaches that 'oneness' describes a couple's marital state rather than their joint activity.

Even when a couple is apart from each other, like one in Canton and the other in Pittsburgh, the two are still one flesh. They are not like a zipper that can be undone but like welding where a third substance melts the original two items into one.2 A Christian marriage is fused together by God Himself, thus forming a 'triunity.' 3

Book this is based on: Principles and Practices of Biblical Parenting

(2) Distortion: Oneness in marriage does not apply to unbelievers.

Some Christians ask whether this principle of oneness is applicable to the marriage of unbelievers. If marriage is a spiritual matter, does a couple's oneness depend upon their faith? No. God is involved in the affairs of everybody all the time.

If two people marry, they are still bound by the spiritual laws God built into the world whether they acknowledge them or not. Unbelievers cannot rightly live out the oneness, but they are accountable to it and are blessed to the degree they live by it.

(3) Distortion: Marriage oneness brings automatic blessings.

Others have asked, "Why is it that some non-Christian marriages are better than Christian marriages?" We sadly concur that this sometimes happens. Jesus explained this phenomenon in His closing words of the Sermon on the Mount.

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock.

"And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act upon them, will be like a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand. "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and it fell, and great was its fall" (Matthew 7:24-27).

God is not mocked. Whatever a person sows, this he also reaps (see Galatians 6:7). To the degree anyone builds his life, marriage and family upon biblical principles, they shall be strong and flourish. On the other hand, to the degree believers or unbelievers neglect applying biblical principles to their marriage, their marriage will be plagued with problems.

God has given marriage principles for our good. All of God's principles bring blessing and goodness into our lives. Once we better understand this connection between God and His truths, the more we are apt to practice them.

This truth is seen in reverse too. Any couple that insists on fighting and arguing for their own rights and preferences will suffer. Their marriage will turn ugly. They are countering God's truth of oneness.

(4) Distortion: Living together is oneness

More and more people are living together without getting married at all. This wrecks havoc on the couple and the children. First of all we need to realize they are not 'one.' They are not fused together. The two are still the two. This becomes very apparent when we analyze these situations.

Marriage works because of the commitment based on the fact of oneness. 'Living together' is immoral because it is based on meeting one's own needs rather than the other's. We will see the harm this lifestyle brings to children living in such situations below.


Other religions and philosophies have nothing like this teaching to contribute to the state of marriage. Cultures might have traditions, but they cannot explain why these traditions are important except that they exist. These cultural teachings cannot survive the modern attack on marriage.

The scriptures, however, explain how God has instituted oneness in marriage. This is a trans-cultural teaching because it is a creation ordinance. The oneness between husband and wife then becomes the foundation for the family as it expands its influence by adding children.

=> Next: Importance of Marital Oneness on Children


2 This oneness is very evident in the life of their children. With advanced understanding of human cells, we now know every child's cell is equally composed by his or her father and mother's gene coding. The husband and wife literally are fused into the life of a new person.

3 'Triunity' is used to describe the concept that a couple marries in the Lord. We see this in Ephesians 5 where the husband function together under the umbrella of the Lord. The wife submits "in the Lord." The husband is mandated to love his wife as Christ loved the church.

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

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