Read Matthew 19:1-12.Two words I want to pull out of here -- "united" ("joined" in the NASB) and "flesh."
"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh....Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate." NIV
"Joined" in the Greek is kollao:
to glue, to glue together, cement, fasten together
to join or fasten firmly together
to join one's self to, cleave to
A man and a woman are spiritually glued together. It's a cemented bond done through a covenant ceremony. Whenever you glue to things together, you do not do it with the purpose of separating them. Your purpose is to have them bonded permanantly. If is was just a temporary bond, you'd use duck tape. But glue forms a seal between the two items that unites them into one.
Sarx is the Greek word for "flesh":
flesh (the soft substance of the living body, which covers the bones and is permeated with blood) of both man and beasts
So many analogies to marriage can be taken from the use of the word flesh. Our flesh is the most vulnerable part of our body. Even though it usually can't be pulled apart, it can suffer from sharp objects tearing at it, punctures, and hard falls. All these can cause a rip in the flesh. In the same way, the flesh of the marriage can be injured by outside things poking and prodding at it. The question is are we protecting our flesh from the hazards that can harm it?
The flesh is also what covers the skeleton. In a marriage, the skeleton is our family. The bond of our marriage protects the very foundation of our family, covers it, holds it together as one unit. The question -- is our marriage protecting the framework of our family? And isn't it the framework that protects the vital organs -- the very souls of our family?
Lastly, flesh is permeated with blood. Blood is a source of life; it pumps throughout the entire body. If any part of the body is not receiving blood, it will die. Jesus is the Source of our life. If any part of our marriage is not filled with the life He gives, that part will die. Here's where the analogy breaks down -- with a body, you can amputate the dead part. With a marriage, if any part of it dies, eventually, that part it will affect all of the flesh and kill the marriage. Fortunately, our marriages are not exactly like a body. The healing power of Jesus Christ can restore the dead parts and make the body whole again. Our marriages do not have to limp around in a slow death dragging along dead parts. We can seek healing through the living blood of Jesus Christ.
- Research some Old Testament marriages. What made them strong? What were their weaknesses?
- Study up on an Old Testament covenant. What does it entail?
- Research other passages on marriage. List the characteristics of a biblical marriage.
- Who do you know that has a strong marriage? Ask them what makes their marriage strong. If their answers are based on biblical principles, how can you apply them to your marriage? (Never apply a principle to your marriage that is not biblically sound.)