Over the years, we have watched classic fights on pay-per-view. Gladiators and valiant warriors square off in the ring in an awesome display of heart and skill in a fight to claim the belt and wear the praise of onlookers, reaching boxing immortality. As impressive as these fights are, we present in this blog a fight that flies under the radar, but is one that must be highlighted to appreciate. It too requires heart and skill, and involves valiant warriors; that being the fight to remain married. Each day brings a new set of circumstances that test the partnership, requiring each person to make a decision to remain in the covenant they took on their special day.
During the fight, the combatant must remain focused on the training and the instructions from the corner, as well as the feelings and fears second.
The first fight is the fight of oneness. God instructed that man and woman in marriage become one flesh. Highlighted in the passage are two words, “will” and “one”. In this, we are made aware that a key fight will be the fight to become one. Because both have thought, ideas and feelings, the journey towards oneness is a long road that includes many stops for forgiveness, restoration prayer. Earlier, we highlighted the need to pull closer as the couple grow as opposed to allowing things to pull each person apart, but in marriage, couples have to do more than pull close, they have to become one! Becoming one is an erasing of self by both, and emerging as one, beyond close in such a way that there is no way to identify that two ever existed.
In Grad School, we were honored by the comments of a classmate, which asked us if we were “brother and sister”. When we identified ourselves as husband and wife and he declared that we were so one, that we were “becoming identical”. In his tradition, he declared that as a couple becomes one it is as though they have come from the same wound. As we still have our family traits genetically, his quote highlights even what our Lord says in that were becoming one flesh; impossible for those watching to see one without the other even if the other was not present. Interestingly enough, at this time, we had dated for 4 years, but were only 1.5 years in to our marriage, thus time is important, but does not always identify that couples have become one. In our experience, we have encountered many that have spent years together, however, were further from oneness than they were when they first began the journey. Relationship like the stock market must be continually invested into when they are down as well as when they are up. One must know that highs and low will come, but must maintain the investments early will provide a great yield as the investment matures.
Oneness requires planning, and is deeper than the physical unions most depend on to unify and honor solidify the bonds of marriage. Though this is a part of oneness, couples that are not able to become one in other areas will only share a moment where the come together, but will not become one, remaining lives that are apart intersecting at points, but never headed in the same direction. When this is considered oneness, one reduces oneness to a one night stand, and is will find separation easy and the future destination of the relationship.
We continue to work on oneness through intense communication. Communication is about time, and requires honesty and transparency delivered by a seasoned tongue. Too often couples communicate, but use unbridled tongues to address one another, leaving the relationship in pieces as opposed to creating oneness. When oneness exists, couples look forward to talking, which is sharing, which is a part of the intimacy that yields oneness. Much like couples plan and arrange moments to unite physically, couples must sync their schedules to share verbally. When done right, each person will look forward to this moment almost as much as the physical moment.
Bringing the visions into oneness requires both to ask not what is the vision for each, but the vision for us. This requires a love that exist beyond physical, but presses into Agape and Philia. As we continue to face life’s battles, we are assured of one thing (outside of our faith); that being we are on the same team, and not each others enemy. We both desire to see each other reach life’s pinnacle, but have identified that the pinnacle can only be reached and enjoyed with the other present.
Question: Are you fighting each other or are you fighting to become one?