I wanted to open this week’s blog post with this passage from the Book of Genesis about oneness. It says:
“For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.”
This passage is about oneness and being united in marriage, but we often misunderstand the message and think that we must also be the same. In other words, there shouldn’t be any differences allowed if we are one and the same.
As we continue our conversation about our differences and not allowing them to divide us, it’s important to look closely at this verse and remember that becoming one doesn’t mean we are becoming the same. God actually designed us to be different. You. Me. Your spouse. My spouse. Our neighbors. We are all meant to be unique. And yet, we all have purpose and are meant to fit together in some way.
In marriage, we ARE one … but we are also DIFFERENT.
Did we confuse you yet? If the answer is yes, don’t worry — you’re not alone. All we’re saying is that the goal of any relationship is to be what God wanted for us from the very beginning. We can be ourselves — unique and safe within our marriages. At the same time, He created us to be different and safe in our differences.
Two Kinds of Safety: Genesis 2:24, 25:
- Safety in commitment — Having the security of support and a future.
- Emotional safety — We can be transparent and vulnerable.
Love exists when another person’s satisfaction, security, and development become just as significant to you as your own satisfaction, security, and development. There is an openness and vulnerability that you each bring into the relationship, and there should be no fear of rejection. Yes, you are taking a risk, but you and your spouse both know that you can take that risk because you each work with the other in a way that allows you to be uniquely special and valued.
This is Oneness!
It is safe to agree and to disagree. You will be accepted. You can count on your spouse, and they can count on you. So we keep each other safe emotionally, and we are very careful with our words toward each other.
So the question for couples is: What are you doing and saying that displays your commitment to safety and oneness?
As couples, we must learn to accept our partner for
WHO they are, no matter our differences or divisions.
Two-Part Commitment: Personal Dedication and Constraint
Personal dedication speaks to how intrinsically committed partners are to each other. On the other hand, constraints are the things that might keep couples together when partners would rather leave. Personal dedication refers to interpersonal and more intrinsic commitment processes, particularly in commitment to the partner and the relationship.
Four Parts of Personal Dedication and Oneness
- A desire for a future together
- A sense of “us” or “we” (or being part of a team)
- A high sense of priority for your relationship
- More satisfaction with sacrificing for the other
All we are saying here is that developing and maintaining a long-term view is crucial for marriage success. Fundamentally, what commitment brings to a marriage is a long-term perspective that allows partners to weather the inevitable ups and downs in relationship satisfaction. Secondly, commitment means choosing to compromise. Marriage represents the highest expression of safety and security between romantic partners. Therefore, each partner needs to regularly and clearly express through words and actions their “I do.” This is one of the strongest foundations for relationship quality, safety, and security.
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Did we leave anything out? How different are you and your spouse? Do you welcome those differences, or are they becoming too big of an issue? How do you plan to resolve them? Please send us a quick email and help us keep this conversation going at Mike@MikeandSusanDawson.com.