Saturday, June 5, 2010

Love Everlasting

Howdy Y'all! It's been a while, I know, and for that I apologize. There's something about having nothing to do that makes you so lazy. Emptiness of schedule breeds laziness, and that has always proven to be true. I can't tell you how many amazing things the Lord has done for me in the last few weeks! I can't believe my last post was on the 19th! Wow! That was a while ago! Also, before I get cookin, I'm listening to a song by David Crowder Band called "You Are My Joy". If you haven't heard it, you should check it out. It's pretty much good stuff. :)

Summer tends to be the season of weddings, doesn't it? I've only been to one, but today I went to a reception for one, and I have friends who had already gone to three before I even had visited my first! Wowee! folks, that's five weddings within a month or two of each other. Wow. Weddings can be a very emotional time, good and bad. For those getting married, indescribable bliss. I can't even imagine the feeling of joy and excitement to be married. I went to my good friend Kyle's wedding last night, and as he watched his wife-to-be walk down the aisle it seemed as if it took all his strength to not weep for joy. He was experiencing an indescribable bliss. For others, the wedding season is just a reminder of loneliness or loss of love. I also cannot imagine the deep feeling of sorrow felt here, and I pray for restoration for those who experience it.

But now I do not come to discuss the varied emotions of wedding day. Tonight I write to you to share with you a profound truth that is often overlooked by men and women, married or single. As I have heard stories of wives walking down aisles and men dancing with their bride, I am reminded of God's purpose in marriage. I am reminded of the beautiful purpose we have for each other, man and women. Disclaimer: I am still maritally single, so if you wish to not listen to my words, please unplug your computer and walk away. If you wish to read on, read on!

Genesis 3 is a popular chapter of the Bible. It seems ironic that the chapter outlining the fall of mankind is studied quite so often, but so much can be learned from those words. In regards to the wife's relationship to man in the curse, God says "Your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you." (Genesis 3:16) Friends, I do not believe that this was the original plan, and I have a few reasons to support this. First, this was part of the curse brought on by the eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. God provided the punishment for his beloved breaking the rules, and this followed under that punishment. I would venture to say that it was not God's original plan to have man rule over woman, but for them to live in total unity and support. I believe that man was created, and woman was created to help him, but their individual strengths complemented the others' weaknesses and vice versa.

In questioning and pondering what the purpose of man and woman is, I discovered a foundational truth, and this is the main point I bring to the table. Man needs woman, and woman needs man. Proverbs 31:10-31 describes a virtuous wife. This woman is described as strong, honest, protective, providing, reverent of the Lord, and many other qualities. The first on this list, however, is "the heart of her husband safely trusts her; so he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life." (vv11-12) This virtuous woman has a husband. She makes him feel safe, she watches over him, and she treats him right. She cares for him in all her own individuality. The rest of this particular proverb does not go on to describe the woman being under the man, but her own individual qualities. This shows me that the woman, in all her individual splendor, works perfectly with the man to be a perfect woman.

Back to Genesis for a minute, we see in Genesis 2:18 that God says "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." Man was not created to be alone. Man cannot do what God has deemed him to do without the help of a woman at his side. God made him that way! Look at Titus 1:6-9. Paul once again outlines guidelines for living, but here are regulations for leadership over the church. What is the first thing? "If a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination..." We need our wives, and to be good husbands, in order to be good leaders! God made US that way!

Ephesians 5:22-28 is a popular section of Scripture to look over as men and women. Paul outlines the married life of believers as such: Women are to submit to their husbands as they submit to the Lord, and men are to treat their wives as Christ Himself treated the Church. Men are to sacrifice for, purify and nurture, spiritually and physically, their wives. Men, we are not here to be the dominators of our relationships. We are not here to be in full and total control, giving no say to our loves. Our wife completes us, our wife is our better half and she deserves to be treated as the Church was treated by Christ.

As I read through the Scriptures I do not find examples of Christ taking dominion over the church. Instead, He treated her like his prized jewel, His sacred treasure and His dearest love. The church needed Christ in order to survive, and Christ needed the church to further His ministry after His resurrection. They needed each other, and so do we, man and woman. Genesis explains it all in 2:24 "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh."

As married man and woman, we are one flesh. We are inseparable, always to be a part of each other, always supporting and loving unconditionally. We are always one. As single men and women, we are beautiful in our individuality, and we can take that with us to our wedding day. We do not have to forsake what God has made us to be in order to please that other person. We are God's creation, made in His image, made to fit perfectly to one another. Until that day when we say "I do" Let us further ourselves toward purity and blamelessness, reaching to refine our impurities, totally relying on Christ to be our strength, and let us not forget that truth after our vows have been taken before the Lord. We need each other, man and woman, and the pair need Christ to be complete.

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