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I’m not good with art, but if you were sitting in my office, I would attempt to draw this diagram on my dry erase board. I hope you can get past the crude drawing to get to the intended meaning, because it really is important to understand in shaping a marriage.

Taken from Ephesians 5:21-33, I believe this is the model of a healthy marriage that God is attempting to build. It is by design that two unique and imperfect people are called to become one.

To accomplish that task, two things must occur.

First, as indicated with the upper left and right triangles, each spouse must get rid of the “baggage” he or she brings into the marriage. While most of us come with lots of baggage, in simple terms, this is anything that will not help the couple become one. If for example, one spouse is selfish, while that may be allowed in some relationships, it will not work in making one flesh.  Discovering what parts of each spouse will not work in building one flesh becomes one goal in building a strong marriage. This could even be natural bents or personalities, but they must be considered as to whether they make the marriage stronger or weaker.

The middle two triangles, with the words “One Flesh”, illustrate the process of taking the best of each spouse, that part that helps completes the other spouse, and using it to build God’s design for the marriage.

As an example, my wife is the compassionate one in our relationship. (You could have guessed that most likely.) In our life together, she helps me be more compassionate.

At the same time, Cheryl would enable others to take advantage of her if I were not around. Many times, I provide the strength that makes us strong as a couple and protects our family life.

So what do you do with this information?

Well, first working together (if you can’t do this together in love you have other issues to work through first), begin to make lists of those things that could keep it from becoming one flesh (your baggage). Over the course of time (don’t rush this process), each spouse begins to work on his or her baggage.

Second, make an opposite list of those qualities in each spouse that add to the strength of the marriage bond. Obviously, this is a more pleasant list to put together, but it’s most helpful if each spouse share the strengths of the other spouse. Once this list is in place, over time, begin to yield the marriage to the each of these strengths.

The seemingly impossible goal of becoming one flesh is not only challenging, but it is a lifetime process. Learning to communicate strengths and weaknesses each spouse brings to the marriage can help build the marriage God intended for you to have.

What strengths or weaknesses do you and/or your spouse bring to the marriage?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 11 Comments

  • AM says:

    Thank you for verifying these simple truths about marriage in your article. I searched with Lord Christ’s guidance to select the article most representing His Truth. I have a question which I already know the answer to, but that my husband is struggling in.

    I will write this question (or statement) as my husband understands this to be: “We have a personal relationship with Jesus and so we should not pray together out loud because each of us have a personal relationship with Jesus even in marriage.”

    The above is my husband’s understanding.

    Here is what I understand: ” Yes, we do have a personal relationship with Christ, even as a married couple and each of us should be fully communicating To Him and with Him even as we are married. The additional difference in that is “the two becomes one”. Not that we are twins or that we are going to use mirror language, however, our thoughts should unify with the King who is centered in our lives. For example, each of us have major baggage in our lives. Each marriage has unique needs and needs resources for those unique needs. When we ARE praying, we need to be praying with the same goal in mind, the same needs as a family, it should be along the same path. Our concerns, though different, should be in the umbrella of the family and of our needs and desires. Our minds should not be primarily outside the family structure in our prayer life. I believe that our lives have become one, therefore, our concerns and compassion for those concerns should reflect one another, or each other. Of course we are going to use different words, but the context of our thoughts should be in the same neighborhood of things. Another example is, the concern of security. Both of us should care that the doors should be locked. Each of us may have a different way in which the door should be locked, but our shared concern should be that the door should be locked to protect our family. We should be agreeing that we will do whatever it takes to secure our family. Let’s say, my concern is stronger than his. Okay fine. But the LOVE of Christ in this marriage should respect that to contribute to the peace of mind, to settle her mind, that the spouse should take extra measures toward making certain that the door is more than locked, but that it resembles, Fort Knox. That is how our Lord Loves us. He knows our concerns and He grants us peace from the Wealth of His Love. He knows that HE is our Protector, but it is all in His COMPASSION. Again, our prayer life should not be apart from one another, but the “two becomes one” we have literally taken vows and have discussed what it is that Our Father has called to our lives and how we should relate and love one another. We should be communicating one another’s prayer needs aloud. In His word He says, not only are we to confess our faults one to another, but even more so in the marriage vow, we are to to become ONE as Christ became ONE with the Church. The Church is a body with different parts all serving one Christ. We openly pray together even before we take on a project or a calling. What ever concerns should be joined as ONE even though we have a relationship with Our ONE Lord. We pray together for all things together. In THIS marriage, there has been great sheets of dishonesty, so the application is different in how we need to pray.

    Please join in this discussion and give light to clarity through the wisdom of Our Holy Spirit and Christ Our Lord Jesus. Thank You

  • patriciazell says:

    My husband and I have been married for 35 years. We are two very different people in the ways we look at things, but our passion for Christ over-rides those differences. We have had some very stormy weather in our life together, but through Christ, we perserved. We are truly blessed.

  • Lantz Howard says:

    Love it. Great idea. The visual really helps put everything in perspective. I am going to use this in my future counseling sessions. Thanks! 😉