Sunday, November 20, 2011

BOOK RECOMMENDATION: "Just How Married Do You Want to Be?: Practicing Oneness in Marriage" (Jim Sumner, Sarah Sumner)

Knowledge IS power:

"Entering into oneness takes faith. It also calls for patience. Our friend Tim Lentz made the insightful observation that in marriage, couples have to grow into becoming one flesh. 'It's a process,' said Tim. 'The two shall become one flesh.' Marriage is hard work because it's hard for two people to become one.

Some marriages, no doubt, seem to run more smoothly than others. I (Jim) don't know exactly why that is. It could be a matter of maturity or having less baggage from the past. Maybe some couples just gel better. Or maybe they blindly sin together and there's only an appearance of gelling. Regardless, you can't truly merge into one if your union is more fleshly than spiritual. Oneness runs deeper than that. Oneness has to do with the spiritual dynamics of marriage.

Remembering One's Oneness

A very simple way to build oneness is marriage is for the couple to remember who they are. They are one. They are not individually just themselves. When a couple can remember their identity as 'one flesh,' it changes the way they see themselves. It also changes the way they look at others. 

The same principle applies to being a Christian. If you remember your identity in Christ, it changes the way you behave. When I (Jim) remember my identity in Christ, I'm more able to walk in the Spirit and not carry out the desires of my flesh (Galatians 5:16). In the same ways, when I remember my oneness with Sarah, I feel more empowered to be faithful to her and not give in to the deeds of my flesh (Galatians 5:19-21)."---"Practicing Oneness in the Grind of Daily Activity"---pg.77


The Husband's Call to Cleave

"One of the greatest ways to strengthen marital oneness is for the husband to 'cleave' and to 'be joined' to his wife (Ephesians 5:31). When a husband cleaves to his wife, he is sexually faithful to her. He prioritizes her above his work, above his hobbies, above his family of origin and certainly far above other women.

To cleave is to 'be glued to'. When a husband cleaves to his wife, he shares his sense of self with her. He sees her as his own body. He does not fall into the trap of dehumanizing her by seeing her as his trophy or possession. When a husband cleaves to his wife, he sees her as a person with her own unique calling from God."---"Practicing Oneness in the Grind of Daily Living"---pg.87

The title alone had me hooked:

You can get this one here.

Growth is good!


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