Monday, May 14, 2007

MARRIAGE...a 2-headed monster

The institution of marriage is in trouble today. But come to think of it, the whole creation of marriage, as seen in Genesis 2:18-24, started with a problem. In verse 18, for the first time in creation God says that something is “not good.” What was not good? It was not good for Adam to be alone. Now this did not take God by surprise…it was part of His plan. It is obvious that God’s plan was to make man with a need for companionship and God had a solution already in mind. He was going to make Adam a helper suitable for him and it is obvious that this perfect helper suitable for Adam would be a wife...Eve!

Now you would think that the next verse would tell us that God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep and took one of his ribs and from the rib made woman. But that is not the next verse. Before God makes Eve, He gives Adam a task that seems very out of place. He tells Adam to name all of the animals. He is to name every beast of the field and every bird of the sky. But why? I think the answer is found in what Adam concludes when he is finished. While naming the animals, Adam got to see God’s creative work in ways we have never seen. He got to come up close and personal with all of the animals, including dinosaurs and other extinct animals that we have never seen. But when he was finished, he concluded that there was no helper suitable for him.

Adam realizes that whatever God would make to meet his need for a companion would have to be God’s greatest act of creation. Why did God have Adam name the animals first? I believe it is because before God would give Adam a wife, he first needed for him to learn what a valuable and cherished treasure a wife really is. I am convinced that the #1 problem with marriages today is that we as husbands have forgotten what a valuable and cherished treasure our wife is. We are all guilty of this as married men, aren’t we?

So Adam gets a wife and in verse 24, God gives His purpose for the creation of marriage. The same purpose is repeated word for word by Jesus in Matthew 19:4-5 and by Paul in Ephesians 5:31. That tells me that this same purpose is still God’s purpose for marriage today. It has not changed. This purpose involves three aspects:

First, is severance. A man is to leave his father and mother. A new priority is formed in our human relationships. A new sheriff is in town. Our mate should be more important to us than any other human relationship including our parents.

Second, is permanence. A man shall cleave to his wife. God’s plan has been and always will be, “one man with one woman for one lifetime” (Matthew 19:6)

The third purpose is interdependence. A man and his wife shall become “one flesh.” Marriage is not a relationship of dependence or independence. It is one of complete interdependence. It is like we become a “two-headed monster.” It’s no longer what do I want, but what do we want? It’s no longer how do I see it, it’s how do we see it? It’s no longer what are my goals, it’s what are our goals?. We now must function as one.

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