I've often pondered the strange idea of oneness. Of all the mysteries of marriage, oneness strikes me as the deepest and most beautiful. So deep and beautiful, in fact, that for many years, I knew (or thought I knew) that my wife, Karen, and I didn't have oneness in our marriage.
Why? Because Karen and I share much in common. But not that much. The greatest correspondence is our shared faith, which makes up for a great deal. But even here, there are dramatic differences in the way we think about and practice our faith. The wonder is that we get along at all.
So for many years, I felt that although Karen and I were married, we weren't connected as one. After all, it certainly didn't feel that way.
But not too long ago I discovered the error of my thoughts. Whether or not I feel one with my wife isn't the issue, because oneness isn't based on a feeling. The truth is that Karen and I are, in fact, one.
From the moment we exchanged vows, God made us one. This is what marriage is; the very word means a joining or uniting. And therein lies a way in which marriage reflects our relationship with God. From the moment a person believes in Christ he's united to God in spirit, yet it's the work of a lifetime to realize fully this oneness in daily life.
All progress in spirituality comes not from striving to be closer to God, but rather from realizing and accepting that already we're one with him. Already Christ lives in us by faith. Already we've been reconciled to God through the blood of Jesus.1