Wednesday, January 11, 2012

On Marriage

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." I was expecting, about a month ago, to be able to write coherently about this passage now. To say that I know what it means, what being one flesh entails. But I was wrong. If anything, I feel as though I know even less about it.
Getting ready for my wedding, people constantly asked me if I was nervous or freaking out. I was always able to say that no, I wasn't nervous. I was very excited, but also somewhat calm: I eagerly awaited marriage. Then, the night before the wedding, it hit me. The reason I wasn't nervous was because I still had only the faintest idea of what marriage entailed. The more I thought about it, the more I realized: the only way people are able to make it all the way through a wedding without completely flipping out is by not thinking too much about the crazy, incredible, mind-blowing fact of marriage.

All human beings are, by nature, dependent on God. But it is possible for human beings to be, more or less, independent of other human beings. You could be an island, a unit of one, completely independent regarding the rest of the human race. I was not that, not quite... but I could have been, in theory. But not anymore.

I am now forever linked, inseparably, to another human being, and she is linked to me (and believe me, I got the better part of that deal). I am not independent: I am now completely dependent on her, for I am no longer a unit of one. Nor am I one of a unit of two. Two become one flesh, meaning I am half of a unit of one... but it is a much greater one than the one I was before. And one half of something cannot claim, even for a moment, to be independent of the other half. Each half depends completely on the other, because only with the other can each be whole and functional.

My life is forever changed. In fact, it may well be incorrect to call it "my" life. If something is now bonded insuperably to something else, can it still be referred to as something distinct from that thing? I don't think so. That's what I mean about not being able to understand marriage, or coming close to understanding it, without freaking out. It's so mindblowingly huge that it will actually blow your mind. So to continue... our lives--my individual life and her individual life--may not even exist. They may not be things anymore. It is not our lives... it is our life. Till death do us part (if then: the Eastern Orthodox church has a super cool view of marriage). But anyway... one life. Our life.

And it's gonna be freaking awesome.

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