We have read this, and heard it a million times quoted at weddings. There are tons of commentary on what it means to be ‘one flesh’, and the importance of leaving and cleaving. I would like to add my own personal observation/perspective to the mix…
As I am writing this, my wife (along with my daughters and mother-in-law) is away at a retreat, and my son and I are home alone. As I went through my daily activities it felt like something was sort of ‘off’. Of course, I miss my wife, (and just for the record, I am not laying around curled up in the fetal position…LOL), but it was something different. It seemed to be a physical feeling of some kind, a physiological and psychological notion that something is different. I thought to myself “Comeon dude, its just a few days. You can miss her of course, but this whole ‘something’s missing’ thing is a little too much.”It then dawned on me…This is what being ‘one flesh’ feels like!
This is a concept that we fight against daily. We teach our daughters not to give themselves completely to any man. We teach our sons not to get ‘sprung’ by any woman. We stress the importance of individualism, even in marriage…”You have to remain your own person…”
Now don’t get me wrong, it is important that we are aware of, and celebrate who we are individually, and that we are careful about who we ‘give’ ourselves too. However, we tend to be so focused on these ideologies that our ‘one flesh’ looks more like one scenario involving two totally separate people.
I read about couples who have been married for a long period of time, and when one of them dies the other is so unable to go on that they die shortly after. That to me is the ultimate picture of one flesh. Imagine losing a vital organ in your body; how long would stay alive in that condition.
So what does it mean to me to ‘be one’? Well, obviously we become one flesh through the sexual act, but I see more than that. After consummation is when the real process of becoming one flesh starts. When you commit, truly commit your whole being to another person, you begin to create a bond that can only be broken by destroying the entire entity. Its takes communication, transparency, extreme vulnerability, and self-denial (to name a few). Couples are told by their friends that they are starting to look alike all the time…a possible side effect of being one flesh. It is a by-product of cleaving to someone else. The definition of cleave is to “adhere firmly and closely or loyally and unwaveringly.” It’s like tattooing yourself to someone else…(wow)
As I reflected on this, I started to smile. This feeling is a good one, and I am thankful that we are making progress; we are becoming one flesh…
I am just now starting to realize… What It Means To ‘Be One’
Oliver & Denise Marcelle are the founders of Denoli, LLC (speaking, facilitating, and mentoring/coaching). They have been married for 20 years and have 3 children.
Through seminars, a podcast, videos and social media posts, they offer a candid look into their own marriage, with the goal being to encourage couples and help them explore, grow and learn together.
It is their belief that all relationships stand a chance, if given the right tools.
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