The Two Shall Become One

Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife and the two shall be one flesh Genesis 2:24 (KJV)

This is a very powerful verse for marriage. When you get married, you are to be one with your spouse.

You are no longer a single person

"It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The scripture says that the two shall be one flesh. Not one in purpose alone, but one in soul, spirit, physical intimacy, goals, mindset, and as one goes forward together in love and life.

Therapist Deniz Ince says, "The couples we see encounter problems with not spending enough time with each other… The lack of time is part of modern life and couples are struggling to plan their time effectively and make time for one another. In many cases, this is masking more fundamental problems."

The London Sunday Times Newspaper reports, "Couples are simply too busy for love."

It is important to know that when you get married you need to act differently than a single person. Everything that you do will not just affect yourself but also your spouse because you are one. When you are a single person, you can have your own goals, ambitions, visions, etc. When you get married, you need to mesh those visions and goals with the visions and goals of your spouse. Now you need to have a vision for you as a couple, and not just as an individual.

Many have the false understanding that it used to be living the party life for the world, but now it's for the Lord. So now the cause of the ministry and pull for "the Kingdom" is seen as a justifiable reason to neglect their spouse and marriage to make it "second place" to be as busy for the Lord as possible. While this is good for a single person, it's detrimental for a married person.

(1 Corinthians 7:32,33 NLT) "I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord's work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife."

(1 Corinthians 7:34 NLT) "The woman who is unmarried, and the virgin, is concerned about the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and spirit; but one who is married is concerned about the things of the world, how she may please her husband."

Having separate dreams and goals, can sometimes tear apart a marriage. It is sometimes okay to have things that you personally want to accomplish, if your spouse supports you in it. However, if you are continually having these separate goals, they can lead you in separate directions. It is as if you had a car with two steering wheels, and you were both driving. If you both drive the same way, you will be fine, but if you try to drive one way, and your spouse was trying to drive the other way, you would either not be going anywhere, or you would crash.

It is very helpful when you can share a vision together. Then you can both work hard to get it done. It will be extra hard to fulfill that vision if your spouse is not with you, or is fighting you on it. So it is very important to make sure you are "on the same page" as your spouse, and are working together to achieve your goals.

Marriage Partnership magazine had a poll of U.S. couples (including Christian Couples) …

1. 23% of all couples spent less than 1 hour per day with each other.
2. Of that one hour per day, only three minutes is meaningful conversation!
3. Couples that are both working spend only 12 minutes per day talking with each other.
4. In one survey, more than 90% of the couples who considered their marriages strong and close also said they spend a great deal of time together.
5. Conversely, divorced couples usually had spent little time together before the split. 

Leave your father and your mother

Notice also that the scripture says that the man should leave his father and his mother and cleave unto his wife. Some people have a hard time "leaving their father and their mother." When you get married, you are leaving your family and cleaving to your spouse. That means that you need to set limits and boundaries for your family on how involved they can be with you and your spouse. You and your spouse should work out the boundaries that should be set.

This could include the amount of time spent with family, how to handle advice from family, etc. Some family members may have the right intentions but can become overly involved, nosey, or think that they constantly need to tell you what you should be doing. These things when done in excess can be harmful to your marriage.

The two shall become one flesh

What our base verse also states is that you should not forsake intimacy in your marriage. This is the meaning of "the two shall become one flesh."

Physical intimacy as well as emotional intimacy is important in staying close and connected. Some people may see physical intimacy as something that is taboo, or even dirty, etc. This should not be. Physical intimacy between a husband and a wife is God-ordained, and is a positive thing and not a negative thing.

So remember that you are no longer just looking out for yourself but should be setting goals for you as a couple. There are many benefits in sharing a lifelong committed relationship with your spouse. Work on becoming one in your relationship and the Lord will bless your efforts.

Mike and Trisha Fox are Christian marriage coaches and authors of Marriage For Today: A Practical Guide for Couples. To find out more visit:

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