In Genesis 2, it says that when a man and woman get married, they become one flesh. In 1st Corinthians 6:16, it says that when a man has sex with a prostitute, he becomes one with her in flesh. Well, what does that mean? What does it mean to become one flesh with someone?
First, let's think about this very
literally. What does a man do with his wife that he can also do with a
prostitute? Have sex, right? When a man and a woman have sex, whether
they're legally married or not, a part of the man's body enters the
woman's body. They're joined. He is inside her. They are one flesh for
as long as penetration lasts.
When Paul tells us not
to become one flesh with prostitutes, he's telling us not to defile our
bodies because our bodies, being inhabited by God's Holy Spirit, being
members of Christ's Body as part of the body of believers, are holy
So we need to exercise discretion. We only
want our bodies to be one in flesh with someone who is also a member of
Christ's body, who is also holy themselves. That's part of why Paul
tells us not to be unequally yoked as well. As holy beings, even in body
- not just in spirit - we need to be joining ourselves to, or becoming
one flesh, only with a partner who is also holy. God has created us as
whole beings - spirit, mind, and body - and He cares about our whole being,
not just our spirits. God is very concerned with how we treat, and what
we do with, our bodies.
It's important to remember
that Adam and Eve felt no shame being naked with each other because they
were both holy. When we should feel shame is when are naked with
someone who is not holy. And part of this being holy/not being holy is
not just the idea of uniting yourself to other Christians in sex, but
uniting yourself in the way that God has commanded us to. That means
following the example of Adam and Eve in this first part of Genesis -
one man and one woman being solely committed to each other.
is the model that God has given us for marriage and for sex, and it's
what Paul and the rest of Scripture warns us to maintain.