The Process of Becoming One
By: Kia Stephens
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. - Genesis 2:24
I can still remember the first date with my husband. We sat across from each other at Olive Garden in our tiny table for two. There was instant chemistry, conversation flowed with ease. We were so engrossed in words that the waiter came and left multiple times before we ever ordered our food.
In our brief time together, we covered everything from finances to our life purpose. When our date ended, I knew the man across from me would one day become my husband. I was right. Six months later he proposed and two years later we were married. I assumed the next stop would be marital bliss, but I was wrong.
I soon realized the process of becoming one requires more than chemistry and great conversation. It requires an unrelenting commitment to the slow process of becoming one. But exactly how is this supposed to happen?
The only how-to we find in Genesis 2:24 is that the man leaves his father and mother and is united or joined to his wife. Together, they each bring their unique backgrounds, personalities, habits, quirks, and pet peeves into holy matrimony when they say “I do.” This sounds more like a recipe for friction than it does oneness.
In the Hebrew this word united means to cling or keep close. However, after the honeymoon period ends, sometimes the last thing either spouse wants to do is cleave to one another.
The daily pressures and challenges of marriage are enough to make us want to run away from the continual process of clinging. We are often tempted to leave the marriage whether it be a physical, emotional, or mental escape. But here in Genesis God offers us some difficult to swallow marital advice. The joining described in Genesis 2:24 is not conditional.
When the other spouse gets on our nerves we are to keep clinging. When we cannot seem to agree we are staying close to one another. When our feelings are hurt we should still cleave.
Scripture gives us no easy out when it comes to the daily work of becoming one. It also doesn’t place restrictions on how we cleave. We may need to employ the support and accountability of marriage mentors or professional counselors. Cleaving may require us to join a small group or share our challenges with another trusted couple.
It is here in our resolve to cleave that God is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine. This is where he transforms one or both of our desires to be inline with His. He causes us to compromise when we naturally seek to fight for our own way. He enables us to apologize when we would rather be apologized to. When we continually commit to the selfless work of cleaving, God supernaturally takes two vastly different people and makes them one.
Kia Stephens is a wife and homeschooling mom of two who is passionate about encouraging the hearts of women. For this reason, she created The Father Swap Blog to help women exchange their father-wounds for the love of God the Father. Kia is also the founder of Entrusted Women, which she created to equip Christian women communicators of color. Kia's writing has been featured on Ann Voskamp's blog, Christianity Today, iBelieve.com, Beloved Women, Crosswalk and Incourage. When she is not writing or serving women, she enjoys spending quality time with her family and friends. You can connect with Kia at www.kiastephens.com.
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