The Third Ingredient
The Third Ingredient
Words of Faith 4-16-2021
Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2021
Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL
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 "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."  This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.
How can two become one? Even Paul called it a profound mystery. It is a miracle, one of those things we really do not understand. Yet, this is the third ingredient in the institution we call marriage.
The third ingredient of the wedding or joining in marriage is the one-flesh union. The order is important. If the one-flesh union precedes a true "cleaving" then this short circuits the communication that leads to true intimacy. This refers to the beauty and consummation of the spiritual and social union in sexual intimacy.
The one-flesh union is actually a blood covenant because of the shedding of blood in sexual intercourse. But there is much more here than that. The one-flesh union signifies a complete "knowing" of one another emotionally and spiritually. Sex was created to take place within the union of leaving and cleaving. Sexual intimacy is first and foremost about the completion and wholeness found in the union between husband and wife. It is out of this intimate union that God creates another unique human life.
Paul called all this a great mystery or a "profound mystery." The Greek literally says it is a mega mystery. This is because all of this is related to Christ and His church. There is a revelation about Christ and His church that can only be seen in the image of marriage. Don't misunderstand. We don't look to marriage to understand the nature of the union between Christ and His church. We look to Christ and His Church to understand the union between a man and woman.
If we want to know how to be married, look at the way Christ loved lost humanity. Look at the "leaving" as Christ left His place with the Father. Look at His cleaving to Church and the Blood Covenant that sealed our place in eternity. Look at the way Christ served us. Look at the way Christ communes with us through the Holy Spirit. Look at the way Christ protects and sustains us. Look at the long-term commitment. Jesus will not leave you or forsake you. This is the power of Christian marriage that we need to learn from.
The other part of this is that when a man and woman leave, cleave and become one flesh-- it is a testimony of God's power, truth, and love. This is the fundamental building block of community and society. It is an image that contains the Light of Christ and the example of His grace as a tool for witness and blessing.
So, what are we to do? We are to do everything in our power to uphold and pray for the marriages around us.
Lord, give me the resources to support and strengthen the marriages within my influence. Help me to remember to pray for and support those who are struggling or just carefully walking in marriage. Give me grace to listen with love and encourage with hope. In Jesus' Name.