Don’t know why I am posting this, except for a statement made by my wife as we laid down for bed last night, and I was feeling a little selfish in the moment.
I started a new YouVersion plan, the Bible in chronological order, today and of course most of us could paraphrase the first two chapters of Genesis in our sleep, but today this hit me differently:
“At last!” the man exclaimed. “This one is bone from my bone, and flesh from my flesh! She will be called ‘woman,’ because she was taken from ‘man.’” This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one. Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.
-Genesis 2:23-25 NLT
This is a perfect picture of Marriage. I mean by today’s standards, marriage is not taken seriously. At what point did “two become one” go out the window!? Marriage has become more of a living arrangement with sexual benefits or sometimes no benefits.
Having been divorced, I have experienced the “failed” marriage. We never submitted or loved each other unconditionally and everything was used as a bargaining chip, and a lot of times, one end of the bargain never held up, usually in spite due to the last failed bargain.
In retrospect, I now see where I went wrong, and I perceive in my mind where I think she could have been a better woman, and 10 years ago after we separated (due to our addictions that were ruling our lives, I stepped out of the picture and removed myself from our environment), I tried wholly to reconcile our marriage, but it didn’t work.
Did this upset me at the time, YES! Do I regret it today, NO! Sure, I regret that I was not a model Christian man, but our marriage was not based on Godly or biblical principles, which aside from selfishness and an insatiable drug habit, was the main factor to the failure of my first marriage. You see we were not one, and Colossians 3:18 was one of those verses that was taken in a negative light, and pride was too strong to get past that one little verse to look at the one that follows, or to put any thought into what they meant. It is a beautiful life for those couples who study and meditate on that part of Colossians chapter 3: “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting for those who belong to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.” (Verses 18 & 19) When we look back on the selection in Genesis, we see that Adam gave up a part of his life for his wife, he submitted to her in love to gain a full and wonderful relationship AS ONE, and I feel that, when a man gives up a part of himself to his woman, she would see his sacrifice(s) and wholly submit to him as well. In total devotion and love, and together, in one accord, they would fully submit their life together to God and his plan for their family, and with that the Lord would find favor in their union and bless them abundantly.
Now for the lighter part of this verse 25- ‘Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame.’ I love this part, you see, in marriage when we co-exist as two different people sharing a home and a bed, sometimes we concentrate on the physical aspects of our marriage. I can’t count the times in some of my relationships I heard, “I wonder how you would look with some defined abs,” or “you should work out more.” Likewise I have said some hurtful things about how I wish physical appearances were different.
Now, I love my wife to the best of my ability as Christ loved the church, and her love for me is unparalleled, and though I am somewhat heavy above the belt line, she doesn’t hold it against me. YES, we discuss health concerns for each other, but I am not held to a physical standard of how many of my muscles have visible definition, and likewise my wife, as with most women, is displeased with some aspect of her physical appearance. But I don’t see that when I see my wife, I see a wonderful and beautiful creation of God, and I thank Him for bringing us together. I am transfixed and delighted with her beauty, and I am not sure she will ever understand how attractive she is in my eyes.
Point being: When we get back to the Godly principle in our marriages, and think about how God created us to be in a perfect union, the junk like bartering and concern of physical appearance is a non-issue. Are me and my wife going to disagree on what’s for dinner or what bill needs to be paid, YES! But, are we going to let it tear us apart? NO, because as the years of our union grow, so do our roots in the plan God has for us, and so does the bond we have as one.
Now about the comment that was made last night to me by my wife, which was in relation to my desire to unwind in bed with an iPod on, she said, “Turn that off and go to sleep, no more electronic devices in bed.”
I got slightly upset in that moment, in that part of her statement, and thought to myself, “You can’t tell me what to do! You’re not my mommy!” Thank you God for keeping my mouth shut!
But it was the second part of what she said that struck my heart, which was, “Put it away because it is for the betterment of our marriage.”
How do you tell someone who desires to fulfill God’s plan in her life to have the best marriage and life together, “No, I don’t want to!” after she says that? I thank the Lord she had the boldness to address this as an issue that could put harm in our marriage.
I love Melissa, more than anything I can think of. And every day that bond grows stronger as we have moments like these. Our response is thought out in the way of Colossians 3:18-19 and when we realize that we are of the same flesh as God designed us to be in Genesis 2, and not two separate beings trying to be a democracy in the home, we will grow to be so deeply rooted that no storm will have its full way with us.
Sure the wind of the storms will blow some leaves off from time to time, but that which is pruned grows back stronger and richer.