I’ve been trying to write a proper reply to Cane Caldo’s post on how he was Wrong About the Trees, but have been thus far stymied. I really can’t think of much to add to what he has already said on the matter. The analogy that he uses, that of the Vine and Branch, is so apt that I am somewhat ashamed I didn’t think of it earlier. [I know, that is probably a bit of envy on my part.] My last post showed how agricultural analogies were used quite frequently in Scripture. Israel was often compared to a vineyard [The Lord’s Vineyard], and similar comparisons about fertile land were also applied to women as well. The Book of Sirach was especially straightforward about this. The Song of Songs compared the Woman to a garden. So it was all there all along.
But those analogies, while apt, don’t have quite the same oomph as does Cane’s. I think the reason why is because there is too much of a divide between the farmer and the field he works. They cannot be “One Flesh” in the same way that the Branch and Vine can become “One Flesh.” Furthermore, we can see how the Vine is dominant and supports the Branch, in a way that just doesn’t quite translate when talking about the Gardner and the Garden. Cane’s comparison really allows for us to see how “they are no longer two, but one flesh.”
Which brings me to Scott’s post on the subject. Scott was interested in the concept of identity in light of Cane’s article, and mentioned my background post on the nature of man. I wanted to add to his thoughts the reminder about how Jesus explicitly said that two would become one in Marriage. Specifically, “one flesh.” Modern science has helped us understand that Jesus was speaking both literally and metaphysically- there really is a lasting physical union that results from the conjugal act. Given the exchange of DNA and other chemicals, it shouldn’t surprise us that our body chemistry can change as well. That can carry with it potential behavioral changes, which just might change our view of ourselves- our identity.
Something else occurs to me as well. There are numerous comparisons in Scripture between marriage and the relationship between God and Man. In that relationship God takes the masculine role and humanity takes the feminine role. Now, from what I understand, our goal as Christians is to become more and more like God. In other words, to become Holy just as He is Holy. This is manifested by living out and achieving a spiritual life. Since “God is Spirit,” we then are trying to become just like God. Is that not the same as taking on God’s identity? Is that not ultimately our objective, to become as much like God as possible? If so, then we should consider that in light of the comparison of marriage to the relationship of God and Man. If Woman (the feminine) is to take on the identity of God (the masculine), then does it not make sense that the Woman (the feminine) is to take on the identity of Man (the masculine)? At least, when it comes to marriage the woman will undertake more of the identity assumption than the man. That seems to me to be commiserate with the feminine role- to be swept up in and to identify with the masculine. Something of a perfect symmetry appears to be at play here.
Or at least, that is what my casual musings have lead me to. I’m curious what my readers think. Feel free to chime in folks.