Building A Successful Marriage

One Flesh

Jesus said: “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:6.

This is the secret to a successful marriage.

But what does "one flesh" mean?

It does not mean that we lose our individuality but it does mean that we learn to live together in a united way.

How important is the first year in marriage?

   Adventist Home, 102.   “My Dear Brother and Sister: You have united in a lifelong covenant. Your education in married life has begun. The first year of married life is a year of experience, a year in which husband and wife learn each other's different traits of character, as a child learns lessons in school. In this, the first year of your married life, let there be no chapters that will mar your future happiness. . . ."

How To Blend Two Lives

Here are five important principles to keep in mind as couples grow into one flesh.

#1 - Learn to Keep God First

While our families are important, they are not more important than God Himself. Jesus said "Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness..." Matthew 6:33. By keeping God first in our lives we will actually grow closer to one another.

One of the dangers in married life is for a person to place their spouse in a higher position than God. While this may feel like the right thing to do it is not.

#2 - Learn How to Communicate Effectively

In Hebrews 13:16 we are admonished to  “... do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.”

People communicate differently. Men and women generally have different ways they convey information, thoughts, and feeling, and it is vital for a couple to figure out how to converse with each other in ways that both parties understand what is being said (verbally and non-verbally).

#3 - Learn to Plan and Work Together

Amos 3:3 poses a very thought provoking question:  “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

A husband and wife need to spend time learning to agree and "walk together" in the journey of life.

#4 - Learn How to Make the Other Person Feel Loved

  Ministry of Healing, 361.   “Let each give love rather than exact it. Cultivate that which is noblest in yourselves, and be quick to recognize the good qualities in each other. The consciousness of being appreciated is a wonderful stimulus and satisfaction. Sympathy and respect encourage the striving after excellence, and love itself increases as it stimulates to nobler aims.”

Dr. Gary Chapman has written several resources suggesting that each person feels the most loved with one of the following five love languages: Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Acts of Service, and Physical Touch.  It would be wise to spend time learning how to show your husband or wife how much you care in a way they will best understand and appreciate. See for more infomation.

#5. Learn What God Expects of Our Different Roles

Both husband and wife should be:

1. Missionaries.

  Welfare Ministry, 132.   “Holy and devout persons, both men and women, are wanted now to go forth as medical missionaries.”

2. Able to gain a livelihood.

  Health Reformer, December 1, 1877.   “A woman who has been taught to take care of herself, is also fitted to take care of others. She will never be a drug [a drag or burden] in the family or in society. When fortune frowns, there will be a place for her somewhere, a place where she can earn an honest living, and assist those who are dependent upon her. Woman should be trained to some business whereby she can gain a livelihood if necessary.”

Husband’s Role

1. House-band.

  Health Reformer, July 1, 1877.   “The husband is the house-band of the home treasures, binding by his strong, earnest, devoted affection the members of the household, mother and children, together in the strongest bonds of union.”

2. Lawmaker and priest.

  2 Testimonies, 701.   “All members of the family center in the father. He is the lawmaker, illustrating in his own manly bearing the sterner virtues, energy, integrity, honesty, patience, courage, diligence, and practical usefulness. The father is in one sense the priest of the household, laying upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice.”

3. Provider.

  Youth Instructor February 7, 1901.   “No man is excusable for being without financial ability.”

4. Gentle leader.

  Ministry of Healing, 374.   “In life's toilsome way let the husband and father ‘lead on softly,’ as the companion of his journey is able to endure. Amidst the world's eager rush for wealth and power, let him learn to stay his steps, to comfort and support the one who is called to walk by his side.”

Wife’s Role

1. Companion and helper.

  Adventist Home, 99.   “God made from the man a woman, to be a companion and helpmeet for him, to be one with him, to cheer, encourage, and bless him, he in his turn to be her strong helper. All who enter into matrimonial relations with a holy purpose—the husband to obtain the pure affections of a woman's heart, the wife to soften and improve her husband's character and give it completeness—fulfill God's purpose for them.”

2.  The best homemaker.

  Adventist Home, 91.   “Passing over other honorable employments, every girl should learn to take charge of the domestic affairs of home, should be a cook, a housekeeper, a seamstress. She should understand all those things which it is necessary that the mistress of a house should know, whether her family are rich or poor. Then, if reverses come, she is prepared for any emergency; she is, in a manner, independent of circumstances.”

3.  Be attractive.

  Adventist Home, 253.   “Sisters, when about their work, should not put on clothing which would make them look like images to frighten the crows from the corn. It is more gratifying to their husbands and children to see them in a becoming, well-fitting attire than it can be to mere visitors or strangers.”

4. Queen of the home and children’s educator.

  Adventist Home, 231.   “Woman should fill the position which God originally designed for her, as her husband's equal. The world needs mothers who are mothers not merely in name but in every sense of the word. We may safely say that the distinctive duties of woman are more sacred, more holy, than those of man. Let woman realize the sacredness of her work and in the strength and fear of God take up her life mission. Let her educate her children for usefulness in this world and for a home in the better world.
The wife and mother should not sacrifice her strength and allow her powers to lie dormant, leaning wholly upon her husband. Her individuality cannot be merged in his. She should feel that she is her husband's equal-- to stand by his side, she faithful at her post of duty and he at his. Her work in the education of her children is in every respect as elevating and ennobling as any post of duty he may be called to fill, even if it is to be the chief magistrate of the nation.”

For All Couples

Even if you have been married more than one year we can all learn from Jesus what it means to be "one flesh" with our spouse.

May God help us incorporate these five principles into our daily lives.