God wants a husband and wife to join together as one, as we read in Genesis 2:24,
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
The Hebrew word for united, dabaq, means “to cling, cleave, keep close, stick to, or adhere to” (like glue). God describes the union of marriage as being “united (or glued together) into one flesh.” That sounds pretty permanent!
Jesus more firmly states this in the Gospel of Mark when he quotes from Genesis and adds the final statement in Mark 10:6-9
But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
God intends for a husband and wife to unite together as one—with God as the leader—in a permanent (glued together), lasting, and fulfilling relationship.
The concept of a God-centered marriage was illustrated to us by the bride and groom in a simple, beautiful way at a wedding we attended:
During the ceremony, right after the couple had read the vows they had written to each other, they went with the Pastor over to a side table. On the table were three small clear bottles. One bottle was filled with dark blue sand. The second was filled with light blue sand. The third was filled with gold sand. There was also a larger empty bottle on the table. They carefully placed their wedding vows in the large clear bottle. Then the husband picked up the bottle with the dark blue sand, the wife the bottle with the light blue sand, and the Pastor the bottle with the gold sand. Each poured their colored sand into the large clear bottle.
When they finished, you could see there was just one bottle full of sand beautifully blended together. However, as you looked more closely at the sand in the bottle, you could see the distinction between the dark blue sand and the light blue sand, yet blended together as one with luminous sparkles of gold sand running through them.
The sand represented the uniqueness of the husband and wife coming together (the dark and light blue sand) with God (the gold sand) ever-present throughout. The pouring of the sand over the marriage vows symbolically sealed the three coming together as one. The couple keeps their bottle on the mantle to this day as a constant reminder of their Christ-centered marriage.
After the couple combined their sand in the bottle, they each brought forth a little bound scroll. They explained to those present that each of them had written down a prayer to God for His specific blessings on their first year of marriage. They each placed their scroll in their emptied bottle and put the cork on the end of the bottle. They declared that on their first year anniversary they would open each other’s scrolls and see how God had answered their prayers. The entire scene was a beautiful illustration of two becoming one with God at the center of the union.
Exercise: Sit down with your spouse and each write out your prayer to God for His specific blessings on your marriage. Seal your prayers in an envelope to be opened together and shared on New Year’s Eve.