*Posted by Kirk Spencer
Last Valentine’s Day, a friend of mine said something I had never heard before. He said that when the Bible says “the two shall become one flesh,” it’s talking about kids. Husband and wife are one flesh in their children. Man and wife are no longer distinctly other and alone but become one as an other one. So “becoming one flesh” is not necessarily a reference to the physicality of the physical act of love, or to the spirituality of the spiritual oneness of marriage, but rather it is a reference to the material (and immaterial) product we call progeny. I was reminded of this again recently when I found some old notes I had made on Plato’s Symposium. Buried in these notes was the same insight. Evidently it is something I had once known, but had forgotten. So I thought I’d jot down this profundity once again in this short note—a love note.
There is a strange “gravity” at work between lonely souls in the throes of human romantic love. This gravitational attraction of love makes the world go round (and well-populated). It is a type of acceptable insanity were we believe we know (and possess) a stranger—that our souls can mate—not just physically but emotionally and spiritually. It is something to be desired, something consummate—the desire for two to become one. But this love-sick prayer, to melt into each other, is a petition that God does not grant—at least not as lovers might wish. God, in His goodness, answers the lover’s prayer, not by making two souls into one, as their bodies became one, but rather God makes two souls into three. If two actually were to become one, they are both diminished and the united “one” that they have become, eventually leaves the earth (as well as if they remained separate “ones”). But if two become—not one—but another one, then there are three (or more) and both life and love continues upon the earth.