How Couples Can Keep from Growing Apart in Marriage
by Lynette Kittle
“So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate” - Matthew 19:6
Sadly, nowadays even among Christians, divorce is growing, with many basing their separations on a belief that they have grown apart. Yet, everyone changes. Life is a process of growing and changing.
Most marriages go through times where couples experience difficulty in their relationships. Times where being married doesn’t come as easy, where disagreements arise, and phases where a husband and wife don’t feel like they’re both on the same page, or have the same goals and desires in life.
Behind it may be a husband or wife who has grown in ways the other spouse doesn’t like or feels threaten by. In others, one may be unwilling to go along with something the other partner wants to pursue, causing hearts to harden and to believe their spouse is holding them back. In other marriages, it’s used as a reason for a wayward or selfish spouse to look beyond marriage for new opportunities.
So how can couples keep from growing apart? By seeing you as a couple, as one flesh.
When a man and woman marry, God sees them as becoming one flesh. Although in today’s culture it may seem like an extreme concept to couples, Jesus explains in Mark 10:8, “And the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh” (Mark 10:8).
Still, what might happen if couples really start believing what Jesus said? If husbands looked at their wives like Adam looked at Eve. “The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called “woman,” for she was taken out of man’” (Genesis 2:23).
Below are three ways oneness in marriage will help to resist growing apart as a couple.
1. Improves Your Perspective. If like God intended, husbands look at their wives as part of their own body, how would it change the way men love their wives? How might it affect their thoughts, words, and behaviors about and towards their wives?
As well, how would an oneness marriage viewpoint affect the way wives talk to and respect their husbands? Like taking care of their own nails, hair, skin, diet, and more, how might wives look after and care for their husband’s needs?
2. Helps Unite You Together. Choosing to agree with God’s view of oneness in marriage helps couples stay together because parting would cause a serious, life-threatening injury to their own flesh. Instead of “you go your way and I’ll go mine,” breaking-up is the removal of an essential body part, one needed to function in life.
Because many couples today are not seeing themselves as one flesh but rather as two separate individuals with their own aspirations and goals, it’s easier to walk away, not understanding marriage as the connection God intends it to be.
In Genesis 2:24, God explains the process. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Oneness truly embraced in marriage complicates the option of separation. Instead of a couple seeing it as a viable solution, it becomes a horrid ripping away option to one’s own body. Oneness helps unite couples to do whatever is necessary to keep from tearing their own flesh apart, a split that would cause a grave injury to their own body.
Having an oneness viewpoint causes couples to look more seriously at ways to repair and work through issues in their marriages.
3. Equips You to Resist Temptations. When couples see themselves as two separate people after marrying, it gives the devil a field day in finding ways to tempt each of them to follow their own desires, rather than looking out for one another.
Believing they are one flesh helps couples resist the temptations to seek after their own ways. It helps husbands and wives to consider their spouse in every decision and opportunity they pursue in life.
Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, iBelieve.com, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, Startmarriageright.com, growthtrac.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.
For More Great Resources for Christian Couples, Visit Crosswalk's Marriage Channel.