Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. — John 17:11
I remember the first marriage seminar I went to at our base chapel—it was eye-opening to me. I had no idea that the purpose of marriage was “oneness,” which meant a lot more than I thought it did. I guess I had never understood that the Trinity (God, Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit) was a perfect picture of unity which would then be demonstrated in the relationship between our triune God, a husband, and a wife. I guess I was so caught up in the “here and now” that I hadn’t really thought about how God was a part of my marriage and how my marriage could impact those around me for generations to come. As the weekend went by and spiritual truths were explained to me, the Holy Spirit gave me “eyes to see,” “ears to hear” and a “tender heart” to receive God’s principles for marriage in a way that was life-changing. I will be forever grateful to our chaplains for arranging that seminar—and for my friends who made sure that I went (even though my husband was deployed).
The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are in a perfect relationship—each serving, loving, honoring each other. Though separate they are one. The Love Dare goes on to explain, “And because this relationship is so special—so representative of the vastness and grandeur of God—He has chosen to let us experience an aspect of it. In the unique relationship of husband and wife, two distinct individuals are spiritually united into ‘one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24). And ‘what God has joined together, let man not separate’ (Mark 10:9). In fact, this mystery is so compelling—and the love between husband and wife so intertwined and complete—that God uses the imagery of marriage to explain His love for the church.” (p. 147) Every time I reflect on these truths I am reminded of what I learned in that marriage seminar years ago—there is much more to marriage than just getting through the day with your spouse!
The authors ask two key questions which would cause us to explore what oneness looks like in our marriages: “Husbands, what would happen in your marriage if you devoted yourself to loving, honoring, and serving your wife in all things? . . . Wives, what would happen if you made it your mission to do everything possible to promote togetherness of heart with your husband?” (p. 148) These questions, and the thoughts which surround them as we seek to understand what it means to love, serve and honor our husband or wife, bring us to today’s dare.
Here is today’s dare during deployment: In prayer, ask the Lord to open your eyes, ears, and heart to identify an area in your marriage which is threatening your oneness. Ask Him to do the same for your spouse. If the circumstances of your deployment allow, in a spirit of unity, let your spouse know (by email, letter, or phone) that this is something which you want to work on together. If the Lord leads you to confess an area of selfishness, ask your spouse for forgiveness.
Here are Scriptures to encourage you in truth:
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. — Genesis 1:26,27
As soon as Jesus was baptized, He went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on Him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” — Matthew 3:17
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. — Ephesians 5:31,32
Kendrick, Stephen and Alex, The Love Dare (Nashville: B & H Publishing Group, 2008)