Devotional: External Relationships

husband holding wife

"'Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh"? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.'" Matthew 19:4-6

These words show us that marriage is the act of bringing two individuals together, uniting them and making them one flesh. It is totally a “God thing,” nothing we could ever do on our own.

When we choose to live our married life according to the design God has for us, it can be amazing. However, when we choose to try to remain separate and insist on being connected with others in the same way we were before marriage, it’s a lot like running a three-legged race connected to two different people. It’s not going to be pretty!

The image of being joined brings with it a sense of husband and wife bonded primarily to one another. It’s not necessarily a call to preclude relationships with friends or family, though it may be. Above all it is the call for us to consider life and choices with the one to whom God has joined us.

From being made one in Christ and seeking his design for our life, we can discern prayerfully which relationships bring life to our marriage and which ones seek to separate us from one another, or from God. Furthermore, it is not discernment reserved exclusively for the beginning of marriage. A relationship that was life-giving early in our marriage may change and need to be relinquished, or a relationship we pulled away from in order to establish who we were as a couple may become a place to which we can return.

Father, this union is of Your making and reflects Your heart. Give us wisdom and delight as we let Your love join us together. Let us not consider what we are leaving but rather what we are stepping into with one another and with You.

For devotions to help make your faith — and your marriage — stronger each week of the year, see Jim and Jean Daly’s book The Best Year of Your Marriage: 52 devotions to bring you closer.


Copyright © 2008, Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.

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