July 29, 2023

“For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.”  Genesis 2:24

One of the saddest statements I’ve heard time and again as a pastor when a person loses a spouse is, “I feel like I’ve lost a part of me.”

And they truly have. Because what God has designed for marriage is one-flesh bonding:

  • Emotionally, one-flesh bonding
  • Relationally, one-flesh bonding
  • Spiritually, one-flesh bonding, and
  • Physically, one-flesh bonding

And for those of you who are wondering, there is no doubt that sexual intercourse is the ultimate symbol of the physical one-flesh relationship that God has in mind for the husband and wife in marriage. Sex is a wonderful gift. This false idea that sex originated after the fall of man is nonsense! God gave sex as a gift to man and woman to be enjoyed in the context of committed love, but only in marriage. Adam and Eve enjoyed the mutual pleasure of “the one flesh” relationship long before they fell into sin, and God was very pleased. After all, sex is His idea.

Sadly, that one-flesh relationship has been counterfeited over and over by mankind. How is it counterfeited?

Let’s take a look at a few ways:

  1. It is counterfeited by pre-marital sex. Not only is it wrong, but there’s also no lifetime commitment that gives meaning to a one-flesh relationship.
  2. It is counterfeited by adultery. Adultery puts a dagger into the heart of a marriage. It so destroys trust, and it’s often very hard for a spouse to get over it.
  3. It is counterfeited by homosexuality and same-sex marriage. The Christian community hasn’t done much to help the situation. Looking at people in the church, the gay rights advocates see either pro-gay clergy saying the practice of homosexuality is not a sin but good, or they see the self-righteous hypocrisy found in the Christian church and are thinking, “Are you kidding me? With all the divorce and adultery in your churches?” Obviously, these sins are not what God had in mind for marriage.
  4. It is counterfeited by pornography. The damage that pornography, in its many forms, has brought to marriages and relationships between men and women is difficult to number. We would be saddened if we had real numbers on how many men and women are addicted to pornography or are dabbling in it regularly, inside and outside the church.

There are more ways to counterfeit marriage, of course, but just looking at these few, the mindset that embraces them is self-gratification, and that was never part of God’s plan.

The one-flesh relationship between one man and one woman in marriage? THAT was, and still is, God’s plan.

Written by Bryant Wright, Founder, RFTH

More of Bryant’s thoughts on marriage: Want a Marriage That Endures?

Check out How Can I Have a Godly Marriage? from