Friday, 29 Jan 2021
Title: The “one flesh” principle in marriage
Writer: Richard YW Yeoh

Verse: Matthew 19:4-6 NIV
“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,” and said, ‘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 flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.

Marriage is a serious matter in God’s sight. And for good reason. Marriage as the basic foundation of family and society provides the bonds that hold the family unit together and enables the security and togetherness that fosters supportive and harmonious families and societies.

In modern society, marriages are proving challenging and even Christian marriages may suffer dysfunctionality.
Instituting marriages and rendering marriages as ordained of God, our Lord underscores the sanctity of marriage which when practiced in the letter and spirit of biblical exhortations brings about loving and harmonious families.

Today I would just mention a few basic principles of the “becoming one flesh principle” mentioned in Matt 19: 4-6 and illustrate what it could mean in our daily marriage walk.

Think and act as one :
This, I believe to be fundamental. Spouses must share common spiritual values. This is not to say that we behave like robots and not have our own views and preferences. What this means is we must consider each other as belonging to one body. This means treating our spouse as part of ourselves. It’s amazing how such a simple attitudinal change can help us be more patient, more considerate, more caring and more loving. After all, we don’t often get mad or impatient or upset with ourselves, no matter what dumb things we might say or do. And so learning to place ourselves in our spouses’ shoes will help us empathize better. Believe me, it works.
This attitude carries through to other areas of marriage where experts say most conflicts occurs. Areas like management of finances, managing children, and managing in-laws.
Learning to think as one reduces the potential conflict areas and stresses considerably.

Life time commitment :
When we decide to enter into marriage, we must do so with the commitment of a life long relationship, for better or for worse, till death do us part. Having this long term mindset empowers us to look at issues long term and gives us the endurance to work at making the marriage work day by day. Of course in reality, there will be ups and downs in any marriage and indeed, even an occasional crisis. That’s where couples must agree to get help from counselors and professionals to help them resolve issues better when necessary, instead of striving on their own.

Be guided by love:
In all our thoughts and actions in the marriage relationship, we must endeavor at all times to be guided by love. The late noted American management guru Stephen Covey often spoke of “seek first to understand, then to be understood”.
When posed questions on what to do with a difficult spouse, his answer was often a simple “love her, just love her”.
By this he meant to say – in all circumstances no matter how difficult, respond in love.
Our Heavenly Father would not allow us to face trials and challenges that He has not equipped us to cope with. So it is with marriages. I do emphasize however that when marriages have serious problems e.g. emotional and physical abuse, that calls for professional help and one or both must seek that help to overcome the issues.

When I was a young man, I once spoke to an elderly church deacon who confided in me that he had been married 26 years. I remember being somewhat in awe at such a durable marriage.
I realized then that marriage in the biblical context is truly a life-long commitment and we must therefore treat marriages with sanctity and respect and make it a fulfilling and joyful one.

Prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank You for instituting the marriage covenant, which reflects Christ’s love for us.
May it continue to be honored and recognized within our society as the basic foundation of security and love for the family.
Lord, we bring before You every married and engaged couple in our church. Pour out Your grace and strength on each one, in seasons of celebration, grief, distress and conflict, in good times and in difficult times.
In Jesus’ Name. Amen

星期五,2021年1月29日
标题:婚姻中的“一体”原则
作者:杨勇伟
翻译:陈月妃

经文:马太福音19:4-6
耶稣回答说、那起初造人的、是造男造女、并且说、『因此、人要离开父母、与妻子连合、二人成为一体。』这经你们没有念过么。既然如此、夫妻不再是两个人、乃是一体的了.所以 神配合的、人不可分开。

在上帝看来,婚姻是一件严肃的事情。并且有充分的理由。婚姻作为家庭和社会的基本基础,提供了将家庭单位团结在一起的黏合剂,这样的安全感和团结感促进了相互支持及和谐的家庭与社会。

在现代社会,婚姻被证明是具有挑战性的,甚至基督徒的婚姻也可能面临功能失调。我们的主建立婚姻,将婚姻视为上帝的旨意,强调婚姻的圣洁,当信徒在婚姻中实践圣经中所劝诫的文字和精神时,将会带来充满爱及和谐的家庭。

今天我只想提一下马太福音19:4-6中提到的“成为一体原则”的一些基本原则,并说明它在我们日常婚姻生活中的意义。

想一想并一起行动:
我相信这是最基本的。配偶必须具有共同的精神价值观。这并不是说我们的行为就像机器人,没有自己的观点和喜好。而是意味着我们必须把彼此视为成为一体。这意味着把我们的配偶视为自己的一部分。令人惊讶的是,如此简单的态度转变,竟然能帮助我们变得更有耐心、更体贴、更关心、更亲密。毕竟,无论我们说什么或做什么蠢事,我们都不会经常对自己生气、不耐烦或不安。因此,学会设身处地为配偶着想将有助于我们更好地体谅他人。相信我,这很管用。

这种态度可一直延续到婚姻以外的其他领域,专家们说,在某些领域,经常会发生冲突。这些领域就如财务管理、子女管理和姻亲管理等领域。学会以一体的方式来思考可以大大减少潜在的冲突和压力。

终身承诺:
当我们决定步入婚姻的时候,我们必须秉持着委身于一段终生的关系,无论好坏,直到死亡把我们分开。有了这种长期的心态,我们就可以从长远的角度来看待问题,让我们有耐力让婚姻一天比一天顺利。当然在现实中,任何婚姻都会有起起落落,甚至偶尔会有危机。在这发生时,夫妻双方必须同意从辅导员和专业人士那里获得帮助,在必要时帮助他们更好地解决问题,而不是独自奋斗。

以爱为指引:
在我们的婚姻关系中,我们必须时刻尽力以爱来指引所有的思想和行为。已故著名的美国管理大师史蒂芬•科维(Stephen Covey)经常谈到“首先寻求理解,然后寻求被理解”。当被问及如何与难缠的配偶相处时,他的回答往往是简单的“爱她,就爱她”。他的意思是说,在任何情况下,无论多么困难,都要用爱来回应。

我们的天父不会允许我们在没有装备下去应对种种的试炼和挑战。婚姻也是如此。不过,我要强调的是,当婚姻出现严重问题时,例如情感和身体虐待,这需要专业人士的帮助。一方或双方都必须寻求这种帮助来克服这些问题。

当我还是个年轻人的时候,我曾经和一位年长的教会执事交谈过,他向我倾诉说他已经结婚26年了。我记得当时我对这样持久的婚姻多少有些惊叹。那时我才意识到,在圣经背景下的婚姻确实是一生的承诺,因此我们必须以神圣和尊重的态度对待婚姻,并使之成为一个有意义和快乐的婚姻。

祷告:
天父,感谢你制定的婚姻盟约,这盟约反映了基督对我们的爱。
愿它在我们的社会中继续被尊重和认可,作为安全和爱护家庭的基本基础。
主啊,我们把教会里每一对已婚和订婚的夫妇带到你面前。在欢庆、悲伤、痛苦、冲突的时刻,在顺境和逆境的时候,将你的恩典和能力倾注在各人身上。奉耶稣的名。阿门。