Marriage: unity & individuality

The latest issue of NextWave features a great article entitled “a Theology of Marriage and Divorce”. Here are a couple of excerpts which particularly resonated with me:

From the Creation account we also learn that human beings are created in the image of God. Trinitarian theology teaches us about perichoresis – the divine dance in which the Creator, Redeemer and Comforter are both three and one. Each one is distinct in personality and cannot be subsumed into a single identity. And yet their unity is so complete that Christians are monotheists. We worship one God – a unified, three-person God.

“The two shall become one flesh.” Scripture’s description of marriage also describes a tension – a dance between unity and individuality within marriage. There are two people with distinct personalities, gifts, names, and bodies. And yet marriage makes them one – an unbroken mysterious unity that transcends their individuality without obliterating it. […] As fallen ones, we all struggle with this tension between unity and individuality, between freedom and control, and between self-sacrifice and self-centeredness.

and

Marriage is a covenant relationship – the most sacred of vows that a human being can make. In the Old Testament, making a covenant involved sacrificing an animal, cutting it into two pieces, and then walking between the halves of the animal. If one party broke the covenant, they were agreeing to share the fate of the animal. Obviously, such covenants were not entered into lightly and were broken only with disastrous consequences. […] Marriage is also a covenant relationship and in our culture we have no context for understanding the gravity of such a commitment. But scripture teaches us that there is a mysterious revelation of Christ’s relationship to his Church within the relationship between a married couple. They are both covenantal relationships.

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