Love & Marriage

I was reading a message board a couple of weeks ago and came across a post by a married woman who was upset at her husband.  Her birthday was a Friday, and he’d made plans for some overnight guy thing (hunting? fishing?  I can’t remember) for Saturday-Sunday.  He apparently had these plans for weeks, and in the corresponding arguments they’d had about it, he said that her birthday shouldn’t span an entire weekend.  That Thursday, the day before her birthday, she posted this story.  In the comments section, she added that he’d had a root canal that day and that he called her after it was done and said they’d had a problem with a nerve and that he was in so much pain he couldn’t talk – he had to go throw up.  She added to that, “Karma is on my side.”

Everything about that post, from the original intent to the comments calling him all sorts of evil names to the glee in the pain he was experiencing made me sad.  It made me so sad that I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind and this couple has been heavy on my heart since then.

I don’t know their relationship.  I don’t know what kind of person he is or what kind of person she is.  I just know that there is a perfect model for marriage, and they aren’t living it.

When God said, ” It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him,” (Genesis 2:18) there are two Hebrew words that could have been used for “not good.”  One is ‘ên tôb, which means that something is lacking.  As in, this coffee is lacking cinnamon, or these mashed potatoes are lacking salt.  The other is lõ’tôb, which means positively bad.  As in, it is positively bad that man is alone, so I will make for him a helper.

We are designed to want to be in a relationship with someone.  We are commanded by God to make that relationship monogamous, permanent, and, above all, a reflection of Christ’s relationship with us .

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.  Ephesians 5:25-27

What does that mean?

What it means is that Christ loves us so much that He died for us.  He stepped up, was beaten until he didn’t even resemble a man anymore, then nailed to a wooden cross until his lungs filled with fluid and suffocated him.  And he did it because he LOVES us.

Husbands are supposed to love their wives that much.  God’s perfect model for marriage has husbands loving and adoring their wives to the point that they would step up and die for them.

My mom and a co-worker were discussing a movie one time.  I wish I could remember what movie it was.  But the action hero was rescuing his wife from some bad guys.  The co-worker said, “What kind of woman would want a husband who would be willing to die for her?”  My mom’s shocked response was, “What kind of woman wouldn’t want that?”

Conversely, women are to love and respect their husbands.  To hold them in high esteem.  To give to them the kind of unconditional respect that rivals the unconditional love their husbands should have for them.  To love them tenderly, affectionately, and passionately.

Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies.   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.  ~Proverbs 31:1-12

Genesis 2:24 says, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”  The term “one” used here is the same term used in Deuteronomy 6:4 describing the holy trinity: “Hear O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” I think that is a powerful message from God that puts man and wife as one – one flesh, one in the eyes of God as much as the trinity of God is one.

When a husband loves his wife with the perfect, agape love of Christ, and when his wife gives him unconditional respect and a tender affectionate love in return, then you have a perfect model of a marriage as given to us by God.  Then you have the two becoming “one” – a powerful force to be reckoned with.

Men have hearts that crave respect.  Women have hearts that crave love.  When a relationship is formed and love and respect are withheld, then you have unfulfilled and discontent hearts.  When I see that, when I know the perfect relationship that could be, it makes me sad.

To dismiss a wife’s hurt over a scheduling conflict is not loving her.  To take delight in a husband’s physical pain is not respecting him. To have them both happening together within the same marriage makes me long to be able to wave a magic wand and heal the big gaping wound of hurt that is obviously that relationship.


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