For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:31-32). But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him (1 Corinthians 6:17).
In Ephesians 5, Paul parallels the marriage with the relationship Jesus has with the church. In counseling couples before marriage, I encourage them to be aware of the adjustment that must take place mentally and motivationally in being joined to another person for the rest of their lives. They can no longer live to please only themselves, but must also focus on their mate, and how each action they take affects the other. And this kind of mental/motivational adjustment is just like the change that occurs when Jesus becomes our Master.
In the above verse we find that when we are born again we become one spirit with Him. Here is how that works out in a practical way.
In my B.C. (before Christ) days, I did my own thing. I did what I wanted to do and went where I wanted to go as I desired. I answered to know one. As long as I obey civil law, I was free to do as I pleased.
That changed when I was born again. Suddenly it wasn’t just me doing as I pleased with no thought of anyone else. It became Jesus and me. I began to ask my self what Jesus would want me to do, act, say, in each situation of life. Now He has something to say about how I dress, what entertains me, who I hang out with, and what I think about. I’m one spirit with Him! I’m no long good ‘ol independent Mitch. Now I’m a Jesus intertwined Mitch! Jesus is intimately involved in every single thing I do. And it’s no more independent living for me!
A similar change occurs when in marriage we become one flesh with our spouse. The dynamic of the inward change in marriage is similar to the inward change in motivation/thought when we’re married.
I noticed this change immediately after Susan and I were married. I was in the grocery store picking up a few items. And I quickly noticed that I wasn’t just thinking about what I wanted, but I was also thinking about what would please her in my purchases. And this kind of thought filtered into all my activities. It affected my leisure time, my financial life, my work life, etc. We were now one flesh.
Now that I am a married Christian, my life is intertwined with Jesus and with Susan. I can no longer live an independent life. I’ve chosen to be one spirit with Jesus and one flesh with Susan. Self-centered living is no longer an option. If I go there, it will only produce personal pain.
I meet so many believers who are still seeking to live an independent life from Jesus. They experience much internal conflict. I also meet so many married couples who are living independently from their spouses. It produces much dissatisfaction and hardship in their marriage.
I understand at least part of what Paul meant when he said I die daily. How about you? Are you living as an independent or an interdependent person? As a single or married Christian, you’ve been bought with a price and you are not your own! So stop the independent living!
Dependent living is a matter of trust. Can I trust God to take care of me? Am I willing to yield my thought life, my emotional life, my inward desires to Jesus and to the Word of God? Am I willing, with God’s help, to break patterns in my life that are hurtful to me and to others?
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).