Two Becoming One

I love it when the world discovers something that the Bible has already declared thousands of years ago. The experts may attribute it to some revelational research, crediting themselves for such wisdom and intelligence in their field of study; but all they have done is only prove that the Bible is indeed true.

The Straits Times carried one such ‘discovery’ in the article “Love’s brain chemistry” by Diane Ackerman on Tuesday, 27 March 2012.

The Straits Times, REVIEW & FORUM, Tues 27 Mar 2012.

The opening line reads, “A relatively new field, called interpersonal neurobiology, draws its vigour from one of the great discoveries of our era: that the brain is constantly rewiring itself based on daily life. In the end, what we pay the most attention to defines us. How you choose to spend the irreplaceable hours of your life literally transforms you.” (emphasis mine)

New field? Great discoveries? Did not the Apostle Paul urge his charges in Rom 12:2 not to be conformed to the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of the mind? By the wisdom of God, Paul knew what these neurobiologists would discover years later. He knew that whatever the mind is set on, that is what will ultimately define us. In Rom 8:5, Paul warns, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” He says it again, albeit with different words, in Col 3:2, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.”

"...and they shall become one flesh." Gen 2:24

What thrilled me most was the paragraph that was highlighted in the article: “When two people become a couple, the brain extends its idea of self to include the other; instead of the slender pronoun “I”, a plural self emerges who can borrow some of the other’s assets and strengths. The brain knows who we are. The immune system knows who we’re not, and it stores pieces of invaders as memory aids. Through lovemaking, or when we pass along a flu or a cold, we trade bits of identity with loved ones, and in time we become a sort of chimera*. We don’t just get under a mate’s skin, we absorb him or her.” (emphasis mine)

Hey, Moses knew this long before there was a field called neurobiology! In Gen 2:24, Moses wrote prophetically, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Referring to the divinely appointed institution of marriage, this alludes to the consummation of that marriage through the most intimate physical act of sexual union between the husband and his wife. In the words of the neurobiologist, through that act of “lovemaking”, the couple “absorbs” each other. In biblical terms, the two have become one!

Romantic as this sounds, we must not miss another application. In warning the Church in Corinth against sexual immorality, the Apostle Paul quotes from Gen 2:24. “Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For ‘the two,’ He says, ‘shall become one flesh.'” (1 Cor 6:16) In our society today, sexual promiscuity is celebrated more than frowned upon. Can you imagine what is happening, given our new neurobiological understanding!? If, through sexual union, a couple becomes a composite of one another, then multiple partners simply results in multiple composites of bizarre proportions. In other words, we have created an undefinable level of mutated monsters that are wreaking havoc in relationships and societies today!

I thank God for such articles that affirm the Word of God – not that the Word of God needs any such affirmation in the first place. There is only one phrase I totally disagree with where Ackerman considers humans “as the most social apes”. My prayer for her is that she would one day come to know the One True God who created us all in His image and be saved through faith in Jesus Christ. Amidst all her wonderful discoveries as a neurobiologist, may she receive the revelation that all this cannot simply happen by chance through evolution. Before Ackerman and her colleagues ever discovered such wonderful truths about the brain and the mind, the Creator God has already recorded the findings in the Bible.

*Chimera: An organism, organ, or part consisting of two or more tissues of different genetic composition, produced as a result of organ transplant, grafting, or genetic engineering.

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