Have you ever stood on the banks of two great rivers and watched as the two merged into one? Turbulence and white waters fight each other as the two finally settle and begin to flow. I’ve often thought of that as I talk with couples about the merging of two lives–or for that matter, two families–which become one. There is difficulty enough when two people bring different habits, cultures, and attitudes into a marriage, but when two families are blended, the factor of turbulence only multiplies.
Believing that families came from the drawing board of heaven, I go back to the original blueprint found in the book of Genesis, and I notice that God says a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife in such a way that the two become one flesh. This is a unique relationship as two people maintain their own identities and personalities yet merge their lives into the oneness of marriage.
What impresses me, however, is that God says two become one, not two are one. That becoming is like the weaving of a unique tapestry as the various threads of heredity and environment are blended in a new pattern and picture.
The merging of lives and families is never easy, because everything that happens affects everybody else. There’s no real room for independence. We’re much like climbers on the face of a rock incline, linked together by a fragile strand of nylon rope. The idea, according to my son who is a rock climber, is that if one loses his footing and should fall, the others, anchored by pitons to the face of the mountain, break his fall and save him. Doesn’t always work that way, however!
Climbing one of Switzerland’s beautiful peaks, Steve tells how he and his companions stopped to catch their breath when they saw another party of climbers on the opposite face of the mountain making their way slowly up the peak. The lead climber, however, slipped and fell. The weight of his body pulled the second loose and the two jerked the third loose and the three tumbled end over end some 700 to 1000 meters down the face of the incline, landing in a snow bank below. These three were among the fortunate; they got up and walked away.
Like it or not, members of a family are joined by an invisible bond that links them together; and altogether too often when one falls the entire family is torn from its moorings by the force of gravity.
“Well, it’s my life; I can do with it whatever I please!” “Nobody has the right to tell me what to do as long as no one gets hurt!” Unless you should happen to be the sole surviving member of a family with no relatives or friends, you really do not have the option of saying that no one is affected by what you do.
A family is a unique arrangement of people which God thought up in all His wisdom and all His genius: the right combination of little people, big people, innocence and wisdom, strength and weakness, ability and searching, which He houses in a home.
One false move, one slip, even one indiscreet evening of pleasure, vitally affects those who are one team. So before you decide to do a solo performance, better think through the implications of what you are doing.
When a relationship like a marriage or those in a family are shattered by a fall such as infidelity, yes, the pieces, like shards of a fine porcelain vase, can be glued back together, perhaps able to hold flowers again. But the people in the marriage, in the family, will never be the same. Think before you take that dangerous and tragic step.
Resource Reading: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
Text: Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? Amos 3:3
GUIDELINES with Harold Sala – June 23, 2017