God is comprised of three distinct persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who work together in complete harmony (Jn 17:11).
The same concept is applicable to marriage when two people become ‘one flesh’ but oneness is more than just physical. In marriage, there should be a unity of hearts and purpose between the husband and wife; the individuality of each is not overridden or destroyed, instead the common focus works for the overall good, helping them to develop into all they can be without destructive undercurrents of resentment, personal agendas or other divisive tactics. As a man and his wife are now one, by loving their partner they are in effect loving themselves (Eph 5:28-30). Ongoing love and respect bolster self-esteem and stability. Although there will be times of differing opinions, with submission, tolerance, "speaking the truth in love" as well as forgoing one’s own preferences and desires there can be a moulding together of both partners into a unified powerful force that is able to accomplish more than they could individually (Deut 32:30; Eph 4:15).
Becoming ‘one’ in marriage involves a “leaving” of the parents and a “cleaving” to one’s spouse (Gen 2:24). Parents are still be honoured and respected but the married couple begin another nucleus of close commitment, love, trust and responsibility for the other’s welfare. Ideally this should only be broken by the death of one party rather than separation and divorce (Mt 19:6; Rom 7:2,3). Soul ties (inappropriate close relationships with thoughts of fantasy) and previous sexual experiences must be repented of, and maybe deliverance undertaken, as God views sexual intercourse seriously, having designed it to be reserved for marriage because of the bonding that takes place during intimacy (1 Cor 6:13-18).
Prior to marriage there should be a frank and honest discussion between the couple about their hopes, desires and values so there can be a real, meaningful intertwining of two into one, and God’s blessing can be expected (Ps 133:1,3). In the marriage itself both partners should have input, with joint decisions made especially in the major and long reaching areas.
Marriage, the building block of society, is particularly the focus of Satan’s attention. He tries to cause conflict and division through stress, each partner wanting their own rights and doing their own thing with ensuing power struggles because “a house divided against cannot remain firm” (Mk 3:25).
The Bible declares that as Christians we are part of the body of Christ and should be vitally concerned about our fellow believers, in a similar way that Christ cares for the church (Eph 5:23-32). We need to keep majoring on our “oneness” in Christ, and not allow minor differences of beliefs to destroy the unity (Eph 4:4-6).
Focus on what is in common, not the differences
With any interaction between people, whether it is marriage, work environment, organisation, church or friendship, so much more can be accomplished if there is a pulling in the same direction as opposed to having a tug-of-war! Any negativism or destructive wedges need dealing with quickly, yet allowing differing opinions to be heard and considered. Sometimes there must be an agreement to disagree on a topic yet with the relationship remaining firm; occasionally there needs to be a severance as in the case of gross sin.
See also: co-operation, God, division, divorce, harmony, marriage, non-negotiable, soul ties, submission, unity.