this month of Valentine’s Day, let us consider love. And marriage. The
whole “Two shall become one” phenomenon.
Or is it more like
one-and-a-half? Or negative three?
When two people become engaged,
love sounds easy. Idealistic. As easy as I John 4:19: “We love because
he first loved us”(NIV). Two separate human beings will join lives and
become this perfect single entity called a couple. No problem. It’ll be
a piece of cake.
The trouble is my
cakes always come out lopsided. Maybe that’s why after years of
marriage I still have to work at having this “oneness” happen on a
It’s not that my husband and I
don’t have our moments of one for all and all for one, like when we
both miraculously agree to watch a M.A.S.H. rerun or both order chicken
fingers with mashed potatoes at our favorite restaurant. On occasion
we’ll even join forces to say no to a child—at the same time to the
same question (generally in answer to any question that begins with
“Can I . . .?”) And there are the romantic times .
I suspect God had a more
constant union in mind, one that is less hit-and-miss, something beyond
couch and mashed potatoes. A bonding. A binding. A mutual merging of
mind and soul.
And checkbooks. And
schedules. And . . .
There I go again, being
practical. It’s hard to think philosophically when the practical
aspects of life continually raise their hands and demand our attention,
thinking they know the answer to the question—
What was the question
Yet, in our quest to find the
oneness of marital bliss, there’s nothing wrong with being practical.
After all, life’s rules, car pools, toilet stools, and garden tools
take up 90 percent of our time. We long for the extraordinary while
knee-deep in the ordinary. We want to embrace the high points because
those are the times when we feel closest to our spouses. Even the low
points draw us close. Our hearts bond and we need only look at each
other for a thousand words to be understood. We are of one mind and
we can’t stay on the mountaintop. The phone rings, a child cries, the
schedule ticks on without mercy, and we are forced to leave the
communion of oneness behind.
So it is with our spiritual
lives. We feel closest to God during the high and low points. Even
unbelievers find God at such times—and quickly forget Him in the times
is the in-between times that
challenge our marriages and our faith. It is when the rest of the world
is pulling us six ways that it
concerted effort to make contact
with our spouses and with our God; to find
communion among the chaos.
special it is then, while
knee-deep in those chaotic moments, when we suddenly remember: I
love him or I love her. During that brief
recognition of our love, fresh thoughts of God break through, and for a
moment we forget our frenzied toils and think of Him. “So we fix our
eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is
temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:18 NIV)
The highs and lows of life are
inevitable and thrust upon us. Yet with practice we can create special
times of communion among the mundane moments: As I sit next to my
spouse at our son’s baseball game, I can reach for his hand. When your
spouse is busy working on the yard, you can pour two lemonades, pull
him or her out of weeding the flower beds, sit on the front step, and
talk. When the M.A.S.H. reruns come on, we can turn the television off,
snuggle on the couch, and wallow in the silence.
We can find the bond of oneness
all around us if we search for it. It’s out there, like a firefly
flitting past on the summer air. For a split second we will see it. We
can let the chance for oneness fly by or with a little effort we can
run after it, snatch it in our hands, and carefully peek at its wonder,
its beacon of light among the darkness.
When we do, we will also find
God, for He is there at the baseball game, among the flowerbeds, and in
our silent home. He is the firefly. And His light glows for couples
who’ve made a commitment to share a life.
“And two shall become one.” In
His perfection, the “two” of a couple become one with the Lord.
Embrace the journey.
And each other.