Lately, love has been on my mind. And by lately, I mean maybe the last 26 years of my life. I'm coming up on my 29th birthday, so the maths isn't too bad there. I've had nearly a couple of years of thinking about something else. I wonder what it was? I bet it was something shiny. Maybe kitchen foil? I'm digressing and even worse I'm literally getting distracted by “something shiny”. Back to the topic at hand!
Love. I've spent a lot of time thinking about it. I grew up on romantic comedies and till this day my guilty pleasure is a good Christian romance novel. I truly want to be the type of girl that's rushing to get into bed to read the Man Booker Prize shortlist, but I'm not. I'm usually grabbing a herbal tea and an ice cream (yes at the same time) to get into bed with a Christian romance novel, while dreaming, hoping and, dare I say, fantasising about finding my other half.
And yes, yes, yes. I know God completes me, but I just say my other half because it's what we say. It's innocent enough, or at least that's what I thought. And now I find myself thinking it's not so innocent. I have spent years accepting the idea that my husband will be my other half, because two become one and when we're one I'll be one half and he'll be the other half. It makes perfect sense, but could it be dangerous? Have I skipped a step in this mathematical equation?
Two Become One
Most toddlers are proud to announce their assurance that 1 + 1 = 2. However, when the Bible talks about marriage, it says 2 become 1. As in 1 + 1 = 1. And that's why marriage is so miraculous. In the Bible, God repeatedly takes the time to explain that a godly marriage, marriage as He designed it, requires 1 + 1 = 1. In Mark 10: 8, it's literally spelt out as "and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh". If he meant, one half meets one half and they will become one, He would have said just that, but Jesus said, "two shall become one". He meant that physically (if you know what I mean - please also note that I'm giggling like the regressed adult I've apparently become), but also spiritually, materially and all the other -lys.
Okay, so you're now 5 paragraphs into this post and you might be thinking “okay we get it. 2 become 1. 2 become 1! Why is looking for my other half so dangerous?” And here’s the why. As singles and even in some marriages, we can so focused on finding our other half that we forget to become the 1 we need to be in order for the formula of “1 + 1 = 1” to work. We forget to develop ourselves, to understand our weaknesses and our strengths. We forget to sit in our identity. We forget about the requirement to become fully whole independently of our other half.
So What Now?
As a woman and the friend of many women that grew up on fairy tales and romcoms, I have observed that we can be so focused on meeting our other half and being someone's other half that we inadvertently expect to enter into marriage as one half meeting another half that will one day become one (aka 0.5 + 0.5 = 1). And while that makes perfect mathematical sense, it is not the miraculous picture of marriage that reflects the relationship between Christ and the Church that Paul refers to in Ephesians 5: 31 - 32. Basically, it isn't biblical.
So, to any of my single sisters or brothers reading this, here's an essential task for you in your single season. Become whole. Some of us are ahead of the game and we're 0.75 and I'm sure there's a "wifey material" or "dream guy" out there that's probably at 0.98. And yes, you could round up 0.98 to 1 or you could put the work in and get that extra 0.02. From what I've heard, it's a lot easier to come together in marriage as two whole individuals than it is to try and figure out how to live out God's intention for marriage with 2 incomplete individuals. Some things will only come to light and can only be worked out in marriage, but why not make your life easier by getting all the prep work done and out of the way now? Be 1 now, so that you can become 1 later on.