They Shall Become One Flesh

Genesis 2:23-25 – Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

2014-02-14 - They Shall Become One Flesh (IMG_7972)On our 10th anniversary trip at Virginia Falls, Glacier National Park, Montana.

Before the fall in the Garden of Eden becoming “one flesh” would have been an easy prospect.  The fall has affected all of all our relationships.  For marriages to work in the world after the fall, for us to truly “become one flesh” with our spouse now takes time, effort, and a commitment to each other, but most importantly it takes a commitment to keep Christ as the central focus in our lives.

Shared interests and friendship are also keys to keeping the love for one another alive and growing.  For my wife, Leah, and me that shared interest is hiking.  Our honeymoon, 5th anniversary, and 10th anniversary were all celebrated with hiking as the central theme, with many, wonderful, shared adventures in between, and God willing, many more to come.  Hiking and the outdoors may not be your “thing,” but do yourselves a favor and take the time to find something that you enjoy doing together as a couple.  It is sure to bring you closer with each passing year.

To the best wife and hiking partner a man could ever hope to have!

Happy Valentine’s Day Leah!

With Love,

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.

Not Neglecting to Meet Together

Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

2013-12-05 - Not Neglecting to Meet Together (IMG_2484)A quartet of ring-billed gulls gathered together along the shores of Lake Erie. Presque Isle State Park, Erie, Pennsylvania.

I suspect my introverted nature and desire for solitude are traits I share with many who enjoy hiking and the outdoors.  Time alone for prayer, reflection, or simply to get away and recharge our batteries is a good thing.  As I wrote about in a previous blog post, there are plenty of examples in Christ’s own earthly ministry where he and his disciples took time to get away.

But, as much as we may enjoy our time alone, today’s passage from Hebrews reminds us that we should not neglect gathering together with our brothers and sisters in Christ.  From the first pages of the Bible we discover that God himself is relational, and, that we are relational beings, created in his image.  In Genesis 1: 26-27 we read,

26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

There is much more to these verses, but I have two points that I want to highlight here.  First, God says “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”  Here God refers to himself using the plural pronouns us and our, not the singular, me and my. 1 God is clearly relational.  Second, he created us male and female in his image.  We, too, are relational beings.  From the beginning, we were created with a deep need for a relationship with God, as well as relationships with other people.  Unfortunately we live in a fallen world where all of our relationships are complicated by sin and selfishness.

But, there is good news!  As Christians we have hope through Christ.  As Christians we have the opportunity, as today’s passage tells us, to encourage and “stir up one another to love and good works.”  Of course, we can only do these things as long as we are “not neglecting to meet together.”

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013.

1 While an explanation and defense of the central Christian doctrine of the Trinity is beyond the scope of a short devotional, this verse does clearly point to the relational nature of God.  If you want to explore the doctrine of the Trinity further, I recommend this link to the website where you will find numerous links to many excellent writings on the doctrine of the Trinity.