What is the right view of wholeness in marriage? Do two halves make a whole, or are both partners, husband and wife, whole people in their own right, making also one whole person in marital unity? This article argues for the latter, but with another entity completing the whole: God. Hence, a trinity exists in marriage.
Most spiritual people seek to become ‘whole’ people. But if they are married, rather than whole, they are best becoming a whole half—as they gave up their self wholeness on their wedding day. They can no longer afford to think selfishly, for they have a partner now whom is equally important as they are. But it’s easy to get mixed up in ideas of halfness and wholeness. That’s not our objective.
The objective is to focus on the trinity in marriage.
Three Persons – One Marriage
If our theology is correct, we will view the Holy Trinity as God as three Persons—Father, Son, Holy Spirit—and God, equally, as One. Likewise, we can picture marriage in a similar sort of way, though we’re not elevating husband and wife to the realm of God, just merely placing God in the unity of marriage.
So, marriage is a trinity—God, husband, wife—and that marriage is one; it is not an entity in the realm of God, but it is an entity sponsored and anointed by the Lord.
Importantly, each of the three parts of the trinity of marriage is a unique and whole entity of itself; God without question, and each the husband and wife will always be whole persons, not disregarding the other, but complementing each other—as does God, in his wisdom, augment the marriage through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Why Is Such A View Of Marriage Important?
Marriage is a God-designed-and-blessed-and-anointed institution. The Lord owns marriage. It is never, and can never be, a concept that humankind can fashion like an idol for its own purposes.
But this is, in fact, what has taken place.
In recent years there has been a significant challenge to marriage which shouldn’t sway us from the present topic. De facto marriage, or by other terms “common-law marriage,” was perhaps a visible initial shove—with spiralling divorce rates—down the slippery slide; same-sex marriage is another desecration of God’s institution.
Worldly humanity tends to normalise such trends for the mode of ‘accepting’ all persons, never understanding, or grappling with in courage, the ramifications.
These ramifications are damning on society; the very fabric, unpicked; the flow of blessedness, interrupted. Ardent Christians are not gay-haters; they just fear the Lord, for the world’s idolatry, in these ways; and rightly so.
The design of Creation is not ours to meddle with.
But we are off point.
The point is, even well-versed married Christians tend to forget that God is a solemn partner in their marriages—never subordinate to the husband and wife, but equally Present in that marriage, seeking always to bless it with revelations of love, humility, and mutual sacrifice; that, for the family, and ultimately for the community and society at large.
The vision of marriage is of love for the neighbour—our closest neighbour, our marital partner; then, our children... our extended family... then beyond. The same love, humility, and mutual sacrifice—resplendent in the marriage—is exemplified as the model of love to the endpoint neighbourly realm. Such a love never finishes. But it is first modelled in marriage.
Not only is God as significant a partner in marriage as the husband and wife is, both wife and husband are just as significant as each other—both, whole people.
Concepts of love in marriage are never more heightened than when we consider the marriage a trinity—three entities sharing a special oneness. In such marriages there is never true aloneness, because both partners have the eternal Presence of God even when they’re physically alone, or apart from one another.
The oneness in marriage means either entity—husband or wife—has the loving ability to well think and act for the concerns of the other, with God sponsoring, in Power, the overall project.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.