Acknowledging the Giver in the Gift of Your Spouse

November 16th, 2010 by azweddingpastors Leave a reply »

A.W. Tozer wrote that how people view God is critical in shaping who they become. He said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us. The history of mankind will probably show that no people has ever risen above its religion, and man’s spiritual history will positively demonstrate that no religion has ever been greater than its idea of God.” (1)

What Tozer suggested on the large scale of people groups also applies to marriage. Marriage was God’s idea and a thriving, life-giving marriage will be one where a husband and wife see God’s hand in their marriage and work together to fulfill His purpose in bringing them together.

As I read the Bible, one of the themes I see emerging on page after page is God’s great compassion and wise-care for His people. (2) Of course we also find instances where we see God disciplining or judging people, but He delights in being merciful and generous to human beings. One of the most evident illustrations of God’s kindness to people is seen in the way God acted to meet Man’s fundamental need for a life-partner.

“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (3)

Marriage, as God describes it was designed to meet the need Men and Women have for companionship. God, the Creator, recognizes that being alone is “not good” and creates a “helper” for Man. The following comment from the NetBible explains what “helper”, a complex Hebrew word means:

“The English word “helper,” …… does not accurately convey the connotation of the Hebrew word עֵזֶר (’ezer). Usage of the Hebrew term does not suggest a subordinate role…… In the Bible God is frequently described as the “helper,” the one who does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, the one who meets our needs. In this context the word seems to express the idea of an “indispensable companion.” The woman would supply what the man was lacking in the design of creation and logically it would follow that the man would supply what she was lacking, although that is not stated here.” (4)

When God made Men and Women for each other, one of His purposes was to supply them with an “indispensable companion”; someone who could meet needs and help solve problem that they alone would be incapable of adequately addressing.

Would your marriage be any different if you started to view your spouse as a personalized gift to you from your Creator, uniquely suited to meet needs in your life? How much more joy would you and your mate experience if you would each value the other as someone you wouldn’t want to live without -aka -“indispensible”?

Differences: A Point 0f Connection or Contention?
It’s more than a little ironic that spouses sometimes become critical of their partners because of their difference. We all know that the differences between men and women are more than superficial, plumbing issues. Men and women process information differently; they typically orient to problem solving from a unique place leading them to have divergent strategies and priorities. Please don’t miss this: It is precisely in the differences between the sexes that God works to blend the components that make up masculine and feminine to create a wonderful wholeness! As a wife and husband humble themselves and seek to cooperate in this blending process their character is shaped to reflect God’s redemptive purpose (5) and their united course of action, rooted in honoring their God-given differences, enables them to discover God’s purpose for their marriage, family, careers, life-mission, etc…Often our lack of oneness in marriage stems from failing to recognize God’s purpose in the differences between the sexes and instead of enjoying completion and connection in our differences we experience contention.

Are you struggling in your marriage? Maybe you find it difficult to trust your mate’s judgment? What if, instead of feeling frustrated and critical over his or her behavior you invested your energy praying for God to guide your mate and additionally looked for ways that you could become a more “indispensible companion” for your spouse? He or she might not change dramatically but you would undoubtedly find God meeting you with more grace and your marriage would probably improve!

Acknowledging the Giver in the Enjoyment of the Gift
It is in God’s pure nature to only give good gifts to His children. (6) But maybe you’re thinking, “What if my spouse and I started our relationship in a less-than-honorable way? Can God still bless our marriage?” Yes, remember, God is merciful and when we come to Him in sincere repentance & faith and align our lives with His plan He will accept us by His Grace. (7) It’s also encouraging to realize that historically, God has a marvelous track record of taking people’s poor choices and bringing about wonderful things. (8) If you have guilt over anything in your life seek God for His forgiveness made possible through the perfect sacrifice of Christ.

God intends for your marriage to be a source of rich blessing to you. According to the Creator’s original design for marriage He wants to lead you and your spouse to enjoy oneness. This comes about as men and women “leave” their families of origin, “cleave” or hold fast to their mates, and in the process “become one flesh”. (9)

The author Matthew Henry captures God’s intention for marriage in his commentary on the book of Genesis: “….the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam; not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be beloved.” (10)

Don’t miss God’s best for your marriage! He knew what He was doing when He made men and women different from each other. Include the Giver in the enjoyment of the gift and you’ll find that you and your mate can really connect and experience the deep joy that comes from living and working together in unity.

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Endnotes
1 A.W.Tozer, Knowledge of the Holy, Chapter 1
2 Exodus 34:6; Psalm 103
3 Genesis 2:18-25
4 http://net.bible.org/verse.php?book=Gen&chapter=2&verse=18&tab=analysis (emphasis by J. Schaeffel)
5 Romans 8:28-29
6 Luke 11:13; James 1:17
7 Acts 17:30; 1 John 1:8-2:6; Romans 5:6-11
8 This is illustrated in the life of Joseph in the Genesis 37-50. Joseph’s summary was “…you meant evil against me but God meant it for good”. (Gen 50: 20 )Nowhere is God’s Providential work through poor choices more abundantly displayed than in the death of Christ and the subsequent blessing that has come to the human race through Him. (Acts 2:22-41; 3:13-15; 4:27,28
9 Leaving one’s family of origin implies cutting emotional dependency from parents and orienting instead to your mate. Genesis 2:25
10 http://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/comm_view.cfm?AuthorID=4&contentID=629&commInfo=5&topic=Genesis&ar=Gen_2_18

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