What “Two Become One” Doesn't Mean

3 min read

I’m a rule follower. If you tell me what the expectation is, I will do everything in my power to meet the moral standard.

So on my wedding day (and while lighting the unity candle) they told me to take the candle that represents my life, and in unison with my husband, light a flame representing our new lives together, and then blow our individual candles out.

“Two become one” they said. It’s tradition, it’s in the Bible, and it’s the worst decision I have ever made in my life. Not getting married, but literally and figuratively blowing out the candle that represents everything I was.

In Genesis 2:24 it says, “…A man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

Marriage and the unity candle are a beautiful symbol of two separate lives coming together as one, but only when we understand what “one” does and does not mean.

3 Things “Two Become One” Does Not Mean

1. We have to agree on everything.

My heart skips a beat for a morning spent sleeping in or a chocolate chip cookie fresh from the oven. He prefers waking up with the birds and Double Stuffed Oreos (and will leave crumbs all over the couch).

To say we are different is an understatement, but “two becoming one” doesn’t mean we are now magically void of our personal preferences or opposing viewpoints. We can embrace our spouse’s God-given uniqueness and fall deeper in love with each other because of them (except for the crumbs on the couch, of course).

2. We are made complete by getting married.

I never realized how much I relied on my husband to make me whole until the day my marriage hit a rough patch, and I fell to pieces.

But only God was ever meant to complete us. Colossians 2:10 tells us, “...In Christ you have been brought to fullness.”

Had I grasped this promise myself, I still would have been heartbroken when the lies surfaced in my marriage, but not shattered to the extent that I was. I would have been sorrowful, but not spinning into a depression that would take me years to crawl my way out of.

Because eventually our spouse will let us down—that is a fact. But regardless of the level of disappointment we experience, in Christ we are complete, and in Him we will always have everything we need. And that is a promise.

3. We lose our individual purpose.

When I blew out the candle on my wedding day, I misunderstood it to mean I was extinguishing everything I was; being his wife became my sole purpose, the mother of his children my new calling.

Cleaving to our spouses is far from losing ourselves.

But “cleaving to our spouses” is far from losing ourselves. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.”

God was never asking that we bring the best of ourselves and blow it out as a sacrifice on behalf of our union. On the contrary, God wants us to bring our gifts and perspectives together to make for an even greater purpose: to expand our capabilities, not limit them!

Two becoming one is less about aligning preferences and more about uniting in purpose. All of this, not in spite of marriage, but because of it.

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