Making Sense of Marriage - B
7 August, 2012
Making Sense of Marriage - Part B
The wisdom of the world and the bleatings of Babylon can never replace the correctness of God. Those values which this world approves and confirms can be found upon the current affair's TV panels or within the daily tabloid's editorials but they will never marry with the wisdom of the Lord nor meet His acceptance. To follow Christ's ways and to agree with His voice creates a confrontation with the world. As this Biblical witness on marriage is developed, so it will increasingly move further away from the office water-cooler chats and the persuasions of daily journalism.
Marriage is to bless the husband
Well before any recorded time God observes a lonely Adam through the sight of pure love:
It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable helper for him. Gen 2:18
Was loneliness the only negative emotion in Eden prior to sin's entry? Into the hollowness of Adam's edenic existence God acted by creating a companion for him - Eve. Eve was God's final and all surpassing favor to Adam within perfection. (Curiously Adam did not name his wife until Genesis 3:20; naming is a sign of authority, ownership and belonging.)
"Well before any recorded time God observes a lonely Adam through the sight of pure love."
With a direct and uncomplicated intention, fully aware of His desire to assist Adam and with the ability to do so God embarks on constructing someone suitable, a counterpart for Adam. The reverse of this needs to be mentioned and observed; that man was never intended to be a suitable helper or a counterpart for Eve. The order and purpose of their creation is also the order and purpose of marriage.
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to man. Gen 2:2
Eve was created to be God's blessing to Adam.
King Solomon's wisdom in Proverbs develops this notion further:
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord ~ 18:22
...a prudent wife is from the Lord ~ 19:14b
God is unrestrained in this inspiration of Solomon in Proverbs as He explains that Eve is His blinding beam upon a man when that man receives a wife. A wife who is also prudent would be a multiplied divine blessing.
The purpose and role of both man and woman is crystal in the Genesis creation narratives; Adam was divinely instructed to look after Eden (Gen 2:15) and Eve was created to be a suitable helper for Adam. Adam cares for Eden while Eve cares for Adam - simple! (The purple passage of Prov 31:10-31, popularly called The Wife of Noble Character adds some later Biblical flesh as to how Eve would care. This brief passage may not be too acceptable for the career ladies who seek to shatter the glass-ceiling.)
In the New Testament, untold eons after Eden, Jesus and then the apostle Paul reinforce Genesis - The bride belongs to the bridegroom - Jn 3:29a
For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman but woman for man. - 1 Cor 11:8-9
With a pointed repetition the Bible describes the politically incorrect because the wife is pictured as a gift belonging to the husband and not vice-versa. Within the milieu of marriage, across tea-table tensions or through pillow poundings the husband always needs to view his wife as a divine grace so that thankfulness for her presence will be present.
Marriage remains under attack
"Married life is not all sugar, but grace in the heart will keep away most of the sours." ~ Charles Surgeon
Satan is remarkably adept at masking a partner's qualities while magnifying their flaws - these are the seeds of marriage destruction as they rob good-will, gratitude and then harmony. Subsequently interactions and conversations become polluted between spouses as emotional acid drips from each mouth. Jesus knows that what is inside a person comes out. The negative thoughts, the harboring of resentment and bitterness, partnered with a treasured ill-will are rich organic soils to sow marital destruction within. As satan infiltrates the relationship, arguments arise and the verbal stoushes (sadly physical battles too) become devouring of each other.
A completely even-handed, unbiased and sage-like (male) opinion that occurs to me - surely it is a pleasant thought for the wife to be created as a blessing to another by another. Sadly God does not return this grace to Eve and repeat - a husband is My divine favor to you. Nevertheless, to view each other as a gift has to be healthy for any marriage and surely the God who is literally pure love would scarcely intend to burden a wife through her marriage?
In Eden God walked beside a still perfect husband and wife; this remains His desire and activity for spouses and marriages today.
Yet the brokenness of marriage still arrives for the same reason as it did in Eden - satan intervenes and God's previous good guidance becomes diluted to the point of rejection.
...to view each other as a gift has to be healthy for any marriage
In Eden a silent and weak Adam naively stood beside his wife while the serpent seduced with half-truths. Adam failed to protect her although he was present and knew God's instructions. God's words were weakened by Adam's silence, just as potent as rejection itself - there is nothing new under God's sun when husbands remain silent today, they too fail to protect and defend their wives with the words of God. As a result satan experiences little obstruction then in his assault upon marriage.
I cannot be too bold at this point to husbands - take a stranglehold over this point for it is either life or death to your marriage and then of course to subsequent generations.
...marriage is a covenant made before God - Prov 2:17b. God is planning, within and behind all marriage. Marriage is from God for the well being of a man.
"Marriage was the last relic of paradise left among men, and Jesus hasted to honour it with his first miracle." ~ Charles Spurgeon