Nobody wants intrusive in-laws, inquisitive neighbors, or imposing friends. We need boundaries in our relationships, some space to ourselves. A little privacy goes a long way to maintain healthy relationships. This is almost universally true—almost! When it comes to matrimony there is no space for privacy.
The first marriage was officiated by God himself; He resolved the problem of aloneness by uniting Adam with Eve. And it is this union that makes marriage unique. ““Haven’t you read,” he (Jesus) replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”” (Matthew 19:4–6). When two people are married, the space between them is extinguished, they are made one.
Woe the couple, where one or both parties, insist that privacy be maintained. For, when the bonds of marriage are loosened to allow for personal space, things are already unraveling. I am not insisting that couples never have time to themselves, that’s just silly, what I am condemning is the establishment of “no-fly zones” in marriages. A God-honoring marriage doesn’t allow any topic to be taboo; it certainly doesn’t limit access to information. If you have a password that prohibits your spouse from seeing your social media accounts, you are already contravening your marriage vows.
This union that God accomplishes through marriage is absolute. It even erases the physical boundaries between a husband and wife. “The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.” (1 Corinthians 7:4). No one in a marriage should ever be coerced to perform sex—such abuse is an affront to God. Nor should anyone use sex as a weapon, and withhold it to manipulate the relationship. When we are bound to one another by our vows, we maintain our dignity while surrendering our privacy.
My insistence is not merely pragmatic, it’s essentially theological. Marriage is a gift with a mission. We receive the joys of companionship to accomplish the goal of glorifying God. When we fuse two lives together in unity, we provide onlookers an image of Jesus’ redemptive work. Jesus left his personal comforts in Heaven to suffer the cross and thereby be united with believers. Jesus is the groom and His church is the bride. We are bound to him. Fortunately, this union with Christ is bound tight by His Spirit. There is no space between us and we are secure in His love.
Whenever a spouse holds their partner at arms length and insists ‘no closer’ they obscure the very purpose of marriage. Are there extenuating circumstances that moderate this ideal? Perhaps, but more is gained by pursuing the ideal than granting exceptions.
Are you married? If so, I hope you are growing ever closer to your spouse. After all, there is no space for privacy in matrimony.