WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER.
God patiently explained his plan to the archangel Michael. "I will cause the man to fall into a deep sleep," he said, "and then I will take a rib from his side and make a companion for him ... a woman."
"Uh-huh." Michael blinked as if he'd just been told a joke that he didn't get.
"Don't you see, Michael?" God said. "The woman and the man will be husband and wife. They will become one."
Michael's mouth slowly dropped open. "Oh," he said, drawing the word out into a long expression of realization. "You will make them one," the angel repeated. "A unity. The man. The woman."
God smiled and nodded. "A unity. A reflection of my nature."
"So," Michael said breathlessly, "although they are two, they will be one. Just as you are three in one." His eyes sparkled with exhilaration. "You will allow them to experience unity, just as you are one! What a brilliant plan! A generous plan!"
God nodded again, and excitement shone in his eyes, too.
That conversation probably never took place. It is certainly not recorded in God's Word. It's just a fanciful representation of what might have taken place in the first days of human life, when God devised a wonderful plan for humanity. He created a man and a woman and designed that "for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis 2:24, NIV).
Jesus, speaking specifically of the marriage commitment, added, "Since they are no longer two but one, let no one separate them" (Matthew 19:6). Why? Because God intended our marital and familial relationships to be strong, loving, and lasting relationships that reflect the unity of God himself (Deuteronomy 6:4).
Unity is part of God's nature and character. He is one. And he wants us to reflect that unity in our marriage and family relationships.
That doesn't always happen, of course. Tragically, marriages sometimes come to an end; families sometimes fall apart. And, if you've witnessed or experienced the breakup of a family, you probably understand why God wants to save us all the pain and heartbreak of such an experience. He can heal such hurts, but he prefers-with our cooperation to prevent them.
REFLECT: God commands unity in marriage. What do you think that means? Does it mean just staying married? Does it mean always agreeing? Never fighting? Something else?
ACT: Write the equation "1 + 1 = 1" on an index card, and place it in a prominent place all this week (such as folded, tent-style, on the dinner table) to remind everyone in the family that God commands unity in marriage.
PRAY: Ask God for unity in your family, and thank him for seeing you through times of disunity.