Friday, August 15, 2014

What Marriage has Taught Me

"Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

By God's grace, thirty years ago this coming Monday I became joined to my beloved life's companion. I look back and wonder how the time could have passed so quickly, the kids grown, raised and gone, and now we two are grandparents to two delightful little grandsons. God has brought us through many times of testing and trial, but I am so thankful we are together to share this milestone. I am glad or all the things God has taught me. I learned these things the hard way. After thoroughly discovering my own ways didn't work, (and through the help of a Titus 2 woman, Mrs. Judy Seligman) I found God's ways did.

When I walked down that aisle, I foolishly thought that my husband's purpose was to make me happy. It was an impossible task, something the very first woman discovered in the garden of Eden. After Eve ate the forbidden fruit and then gave it to her husband Adam to eat, mankind fell into sin and death, and God told her: "I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you." (Genesis 3:16)

Was that some kind of cruel joke on Eve? Or was it a place of safety for her? I used to definitely think it was a cruel joke, even on the day when I walked down the aisle. The word for desire in Genesis 3:16 is tĕshuwqah. It means desire, longing, craving. I had a craving alright, to make sure I got what I wanted. But I did not realize that women are especially vulnerable to the enemy's lies and deception, and God gives the authority for the household to the man, not the woman.

How was it that I did not know that in I Corinthians 11:3 it states: "But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God." I was created for my husband, and he was not created for me, just as Eve was created to be Adam's helpmeet?

And the LORD God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” Genesis 2:18 It is up to each woman to find out what her husband wants from her to be his helpmeet. There is true satisfaction in finding it.

And yet, for my heart's ultimate happiness I do not have to rely on my husband. For he is only human and has good days and bad days, just like the rest of the human race. I can aim to fulfill my God given role as the Holy Spirit empowers me, but there is One who is even closer. Proverbs 18: 24 tells me, "A man who has friends must himself be friendly,But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." I believe that Jesus Christ is that friend. He will never stop loving me. He is the One who tells me to submit to my husband and He does it for my safety, not to be a killjoy. I can trust Him to work through my husband and turn my husband's heart if my husband even if he appears to be making a foolish decision. For like the king in the book of Proverbs, I can ask for the head of my home's heart to be turned, for Proverbs 21:1 states: "The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes."

I simply turn to the Lord in prayer and entrust the situation to Him. Even if the answer is no, I can still trust God to work all things in my favor if I love God. Therefore, there is no need to worry or plead or try to twist my husband's arm. "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

When I got married, I wanted to know God, but had many misconceptions about Him, His grace, and especially the finished work of Christ. I thought God was a hard taskmaster. I thought I had somehow to add to Christ's finished work. It was my husband who first heard about the light yoke and easy burden of Christ and told me I needed to hear it. I am so grateful that he did.

And so I say, here's to the next thirty my dear Kevin. Thank you for hanging in there with me, and loving me, warts and all.
To young wives who may read this, hang in there, grow in grace, read the Word, and may you too find yourself happily married thirty years later.

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