Becoming one Flesh

November 26, 1999

Ephesians 5:31 – For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. (NIV)

Do you notice that we have become a generation of people that are high on tradition, as well we might be? I was talking to a woman today and asked if she had all the family over for Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, she said; but her son came alone and his wife and her grandchildren went to her parents' home for the day. How many of us can relate to this? It is the same at Christmas and Easter. What heartache and strain this can be on us all!

It made me think back to the time when my husband and I were married. When Christmas came along, we would have to attend both parents' homes for two turkey dinners in one day. Talk about being stuffed! This carried on for a few years until the children came along, and we had to get the parents together and have a serious talk. I made up my mind that there had to be a better solution to this possessiveness.

Please don't get me wrong. I loved all of our parents and would love to still have them around. We had some great times together as one big family. But I learned a lesson of letting go. We need to love our children in such a way that they are not constrained to be with us all the time. They have a life of their own to live as a family. They have to learn to make decisions on their own and we must respect that.

This was the beginning of breaking with our personal traditions without feeling guilty. It made me think a lot about today's scripture: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."

I strongly believe in these words. I wish I had been deeper in the word when I was younger. It could have saved a lot of heartache.

When our children marry, they become one flesh. God made it so, and His command is for our good — if only we would listen and take heed.

Ephesians 5:32-33 – This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (NIV)

This applies to us all. Let us listen to the words of our Lord. May He help us to pay special attention, to help us share all things, even our children. Just as we already do: they belong to God.

Prayer: Lord God, give us special strength to let go of our children so they may live their lives together as one flesh. Let them come to us in love, in their time. God, let us become more understanding in the way of sharing our precious gifts, which are truly Yours. Amen.

About the author:

Anne Russell <>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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