by Howard Hain
“This is why a man leaves his father and mother and becomes attached to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
Shouldn’t we ask the Lord to purify our flesh?
And if we should, shouldn’t we ask Him to purify all our flesh?
The answer seems obvious. Yet, it has tremendous and exceedingly beautiful consequences—consequences that are too often divorced from day-to-day reality.
For just as we ask the Lord to purify our flesh, we should also ask Him to purify our marriages. Or do we not really believe that bridegroom & bride become “one flesh” once they become husband & wife?
The answer, between you and me, should be a resounding: “I do.”
Just as we ask for our bodily flesh to purified, those of us who are married need to ask for our “marital” flesh to be purified as well. By doing so we send the Lord a birth announcement—for before we were married the “one flesh” of marriage that now exists within a specific time and place of human history only existed in the mind of God. In earthly terms, what existed in potentiality did not yet exist in actuality, what was possible was not yet real, or to put it yet another way, the divine idea was not yet “incarnate”—the marriage was not yet “made flesh“.
But once the seal of the sacrament drifts down “like the dewfall” upon the divine idea, a new life, a new flesh, a new “being”—a living, breathing “child” named marriage—comes into existence—just as with an individual child, who exists only in the mind of God but then comes into physical reality at the moment of conception, at the permanent merger of sperm and egg.
Therefore, just as with a “real” child—especially an infant—shouldn’t we be boundlessly gentle, soft, kind, patient, tolerant, and self-sacrificing with a new marriage? And no matter how “old” the marriage becomes, shouldn’t we also remember that it is always a child, a new creation of God spawned from the union of two committed souls vowing unity and oneness, all for the greater glory of God?
More so, shouldn’t a child named marriage, as with any child, be treated as an offspring of God’s grace, and therefore as something we do not own or possess but instead as something we have been appointed to steward—to care for and nurture as God Himself wills and directs?
“Yes”, “Yes”, and “Yes”, to all of the above.
So next time you’re about to yell at each other, remember: Don’t wake the baby!
And that’s the crux of it, isn’t it? It’s not about you anymore.
No, there’s a new life in your hands—and just imagine what good parents we’d all become for our “actual” children if we first practiced parenting on the very marriage that begets those precious babes?
One more thought, if we can’t apply purification to the “one flesh” of earthly matrimony, what makes us believe we will ever be properly prepared for the ultimate wedding feast to come—that feast of all feasts—that day, that hour, when the Eternal Bridegroom, Christ Jesus, will come for His bride, The Universal Church?
For if we are truly within Christ’s Church shouldn’t we be preparing ourselves to be beautified mini-brides within the One, Holy, and Universal Bride?
Let us prepare.
Let us practice.
Let us not be left at the altar.
And let us start today: For God has birthed a mini-book of revelation, and its name is your marriage—a living, breathing, child of God.
And for those not married, the lesson still applies, for shouldn’t all close relationships, if not all relationships, be treated as precious infants, full of promise and hope, as clean slates, or better yet, as new, purified flesh?
Yes, they should, for it is no longer simply between the two of you—it is about “a new creation” floating among and above you.
“What came to be through him was life, and this life was the light of the human race…”