God created marriage to succeed. That’s why He set down rules for men and women to follow. One of these is the Law of Possession, revealed in Genesis 2:24-25. This passage describes how, when God created the first man and woman, Adam and Eve became “one flesh.”
Becoming “one flesh” isn’t just about sex, but represents every element of intimacy within a marriage.
This may sound overly simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true: Marriage is about sharing. You have kids in common. You live in the same house. You have a joint bank account. You share a life together.
In marriage, two become one.
That means everything that you once controlled as an individual is shared with another person. These things belong to them as much as they belong to you. This is the Law of Possession, and following this law—which God gave Adam and Eve in the Garden—is one of the keys to success in marriage.
There are a number of ways couples violate the Law of Possession.
Dominance. In many marriages, one partner takes a dominant role over the other spouse. This described me in the early years of our marriage. Men and women should be equals, but I entered marriage thinking I was the boss. Dominance is an attitude that refuses to share—and it’s always destructive.
A husband or wife can be dominant through their personality, through intimidation, or through manipulation. Few things lower satisfaction in a marriage than one spouse taking an unequal role over the other. The dominated spouse feels controlled. They don’t feel valued.
Independence. Satisfaction also declines in a marriage when one spouse insists on doing his or her own thing. Why? Because a husband and wife are supposed to be sharing a life. I once counseled a couple where the husband spent every evening on his side of the house. The wife stayed on her side.
They were miserable. She had tried to reach out to him, but he wasn’t interested in sharing his time with her.
Marriage is brutal on selfish people, and insisting that you get to do your own thing—rather than sharing interests with your spouse—is selfish behavior. Marriage is not about independence, but interdependence. If you want to be independent, stay single.
Protection. I’ve seen this violation of the Law of Possession most often in blended families, where children from a previous marriage are part of the picture. The “new” spouse may not have authority over the children. Sometimes this is because the biological parent doesn’t fully trust the new step-parent with the kids.
This can drive a wedge between spouses. Becoming one means sharing your children. If you can’t trust your spouse with your children, then why are you sharing a life together? Why did you marry him or her? You simply can’t protect the kids from each other. You can’t protect finances or decision-making, either.
Marriage must be a true partnership in order for it to succeed. You and your spouse may have different needs or perspectives, but those differences should make you stronger. Share everything: kids, decision-making, control, money. All of it.
God created marriage to become “one flesh.” Everything in your life belongs to your spouse. Following this important law is essential to a healthy relationship.
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today