You’re Not the Boss-a Me!
By Janel Breitenstein
One of the decidedly less cool aspects of marriage these days?
The “ownership” prospect.
Sure, artists from Taylor Swift to Carly Simon still churn out “You belong to me!” But people get skittish with “property” vocabulary. They wonder if individuality and liberty will be sucked into an amorphous, mashed-potato blob of marriage. RIP.
Maybe even the scriptural “one flesh” makes you nervous.
Does that mean we both like the same movies on Netflix, finish each others’ sentences, and Friday nights are spent looking through photo albums?
I might die.
But there’s a strange moment, at least in initial attraction, where we want to melt into each other. We long to be one with what we find beautiful.
It’s not unlike our desire to buy the song, the artwork, the postcard, the real estate. Gotta-be-a-part-of-that is why we follow charismatic, wise leaders. Support charities accomplishing quality work. Partner with people for life.
Truly, there’s only one Beauty worthy of ownership and trust.
But it’s in service to God’s ownership that Jesus sets aside His rights and gives Himself to the point of death. Romans 12:5 (NIV) says that in Christ, “each member belongs to all the others.”
We’re not foolish doormats. We just willingly belong to God, giving ourselves to others.
God doesn’t strip us of personhood, preferences, desires. (We call that a “cult.”) And when we see Him more and more as He is, we long to be a part of Him; to be owned and ruled by Him. (Check out 1 John 3:1-3.)
Great marriages mirror this kind of one flesh-ness: Shared closeness. Shared identity. Shared growth. Shared submission (as Jesus washed the feet of His bride—see John 13:1-17). And yet, preservation of God’s image in each spouse.
Rather than “you’re not the boss-a me!”? That’s ...
The good stuff: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31-32)
Action points: In what ways would you say a sense of ownership or possession in marriage are positive? At what point are they destructive? In what ways does your marriage flirt a little too closely with that line?
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