Ep. 248 A Key Aspect to Marriage If You Want to Be One Flesh

Ep. 248 A Key Aspect to Marriage If You Want to Be One Flesh

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Shows Main Idea – “I cannot imagine a situation where my wife was struggling with something, and I, as her husband, was not part of the process of helping her. I’m not saying I would be at every counseling session with her, but I would be coming alongside her in the struggle.” This concept is one of many aspects of a one-flesh marriage. I shared this idea with our counseling intern. You may listen to the podcast to gain the full context of our conversation.

Show Notes

You may want to read:

The Parenting Analogy

Your fifth-grader has an issue, and as the parent, you don’t know how to guide your child through it. Do you send your child to a counselor and not be part of the process? Perhaps you’re not sitting in the sessions, but wouldn’t you be part of the solution before and after the meetings?

The Pastoral Analogy

Imagine a pastor (or church leaders) sending folks to a counselor outside their church and not following up or being part of the church member’s ongoing struggle and care. Pastors will give an account for the soul care of their sheep (Hebrews 13:17). Delegating soul care and not being part of the process, or not caring about the sheep’s spiritual needs, is not shepherding.

There are exceptions to this concept, like an abusive pastor: the church member does not want his care. Of course, in that situation, I would question the church member’s wisdom in sitting under such a pastor. Under “normal church conditions,” pastors should involve themselves in the care of the sheep. If they don’t know how to care for their people, they need to learn how.

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The Husband Analogy

In 2017, I had back surgery. Lucia was not at every meeting with every doctor, but she was very much a part of the process. After each session, we talked about the conversations. I wanted her input, care, and questions. Caring spouses care, and my wife cares about me, so I do not wish to work through something so vital without her engagement.

The Wife Analogy

During the early years of our marriage, Lucia had several miscarriages. I “went through them” with her, though nothing like her. I could carry the burden, in a limited way, and serve her as a husband because her body is mine and mine is hers.

The Baby Analogy

I asked our intern, “If she were married and had a baby, would she want her husband with her to share the experience? Of course, she said that she would. Marriage partners celebrate occasions and weep over disappointments together because they are one flesh.

The Drawing Illustration

When our children were small, we began teaching them about a one-flesh marriage. I would draw a line on a sheet a paper and ask them what they saw. Because of prior instruction, they would say, “That’s you and mommy.” They knew that we were one, not two in the marriage.

Nourish and Cherish

For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church (Ephesians 5:29).

Ephesians 5:29 talks about nourishing and cherishing a wife, which means to “grow” and “warm” her. You can develop a “word cloud” out of those two words, the things that a husband brings to marriage to help his wife, e.g., grace, peace, kindness, unity, care, disciple, gentleness, etc.

Nourish and Cherish Wife

The First Question

One of the first questions you want to ask a spouse when the other spouse is looking for help is, “What does your spouse say about this?” You want to honor their one-flesh covenant, which is your motive for finding out how the other spouse is part of the solution. As a counselor, I want to know what a wife thinks about the husband who I’m meeting with to help and vice-versa.

Call to Action

  1. Practice debriefingWhen Lucia or I return from a meeting where the other one was not there, we debrief. We talk about the meeting. We do this for several reasons.
    • We want to communicate with each other.
    • We want the other spouse’s advice to gain the other’s perspective.
    • We want to be intentional about how we can “grow into each other.”
    • We want to honor each other.
    • We want to model a one-flesh marriage to our children.
    • We want to “practice what we preach.”
  2. When a spouse comes to you with a problem, make sure you ask, “What does your [spouse] think about this? You want to honor the other person in the marriage.
  3. What are some things that keep you from having a one-flesh relationship with your spouse? What specific thing can you change? Will you find help if you all cannot work this out together?

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