Weaving: We all want intimacy in our marriages. We want our spouses to spend time with us, to consult us about decisions, to share our hopes and dreams, and to encourage us when we’re struggling. We want openness and humility. We want to be treated kindly and to receive grace. Are there things we should be doing and not doing to achieve those things? And, if so, what are they?
We’ve been discussing the three components of marriage God laid out in Genesis 2.24 and other places in Scripture: leaving, cleaving, and what we’re calling “weaving,” growing in a one-flesh relationship. Last week we started talking about “weaving” and today we’re going to go a little deeper on the subject.
Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival.
Marriage: Made in Heaven? “Weaving 101”
As you remember, our foundation Scripture is:
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Gen. 2.24).
As I’ve said, the three key components mentioned here are all critical to a God-honoring marriage. They are “leaving,” “cleaving,” and “weaving (becoming one-flesh)”
Three weeks ago I focused on leaving. Briefly, it means we no longer depend on our parents emotionally, financially, or relationally. It means what they want or expect does not take priority over our spouse’s wishes and it means not running to them with every problem.
Two weeks ago, we talked about cleaving, including the fact that marriage is a covenant relationship.
Last week we began discussing what it means to become one-flesh.
Again, this one-flesh relationship includes the sexual aspect of marriage, but it is much more. Wayne Mack in his book Strengthening Your Marriage says, “Marriage is a total commitment and a total sharing of the total person with another person until death.”
Weaving our lives together means becoming one-flesh relationally, socially, and financially, as well as, physically. It’s a sharing of everything: thoughts, ideas, dreams, abilities, problems, fears, concerns, successes, and failures.
2 Kinds of Math: “1 + 1 = 2” or “1 + 1 = 1”
Because my husband and I have done so much marriage counseling over the years, we often notice how couples interact with one another. One of the saddest things we’ve observed is how often older couples go to a restaurant for dinner and eat the entire meal with hardly a word exchanged between them.
How does a couple who were once newlyweds, excited about marriage and each other, become so distant they can spend a hour sitting across the table with nothing to say? It happens one day, one choice at a time.
When God said, “they shall become one flesh,” we could say God’s marriage math is “1 + 1 = 1. That kind of math doesn’t happen by default. It takes effort. It takes laying down pride and selfishness. It takes making the time to communicate. It takes putting the other person’s preferences ahead of your own. And it takes being vulnerable and open to change.
Sin, selfishness, and pride are the enemies of a one flesh relationship. And without God’s help to change us from the inside out (2 Cor. 5.17), we are all selfish and prideful at our core. Even as believers in Christ, we’ve got to choose to put off pride and selfishness and to do those things that contribute to a strong, thriving marriage (Lk. 9.23-24).
But with many couples, the process of weaving never really happens or it gets short-circuited along the way.
Sometimes short-circuiting begins almost before the honeymoon is over. Continue reading