Marriage. As far as I'm concerned, marriage is an institution that was created by God and it exists solely between
one man and one woman. Oh, I'm gonna have the PC police on me now, for sure.
Oh well. I've accepted the fact that—unless God has other plans for my career—I'm never gonna be a successful writer (in terms of this world's standards) because I am anti-PC, and I'm okay with that. I write because I have a God given gift and I intend to use it simply because it makes me happy.
But, I digress.
Let's talk about “this world's standards” for a minute. We live in a world of instant gratification. We don't want, we don't expect, we demand that we have it—whatever “it” might be—now! We are the generation that stands in front of the microwave screaming, “C'mon! I don't have all minute!” (I stole that line from a comedian whose name I can't remember) We live in a world in which the divorce rate stands at right about 50%, regardless of whether you were married by a justice of the peace or by the preacher of your favorite denomination. Most of us, when we enter into the marriage contract … no, let's call it a sacrament … do so with the attitude of “if it doesn't work out, I'll trade mine in and get a new one”. After all, we rarely fix anything anymore. When our TV (or whatever) breaks, we don't take it to the repair shop, we go buy a new one … a better one … a faster one … one that's easier to use, until that one breaks. Then we start the process all over again. If we're honest, a lot of us feel—or have felt—this way about our spouse … even if … no, especially if we're still married to them.
Technically, I'm not “single”, I'm divorced. I have been for almost 19 years. I was married for about four years, of which about seven months was “good”. When my ex-wife got pregnant, about five months into it, things began to go downhill. We split after a year-and-a-half and were separated the remainder of the time. In my defense, I had been raised Catholic and DID NOT believe in divorce. But three-and-a-half years of BAD was enough to convince me that it was a viable option. Also, I didn't file, she did, so there's that. What I'm trying to say is that I tried, she didn't. Truth is, we were never on the same page, but I never bothered to figure that out. All the signs were there, I just ignored them. And that's what most of us do. We ignore all the signs … when we conform to the pattern of this world.
But … wait! The Bible has something to say about that.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (NIV)
I wonder, does the Bible have anything to say about marriage? Well, by golly, it sure does!
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 (NKJV)
Now, any of you who have been paying attention to my writing know that I usually quote from the NIV Bible. But I chose this particular “version” of the above verse for one reason … or, rather, for one word:
Comparable - (of a person or thing) able to be likened to another; similar. Of equivalent quality; worthy of comparison.
What else does the Bible say? I'm glad you asked.
He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord. Proverbs 18:22 (NKJV)
“Obtains favor from the Lord” means that your wife is a gift from God Himself.
Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. 1 Peter 3:7 (NKJV)
So, what is your wife the “weaker vessel” of? Why, the Holy Spirit! That's right, your wife has the Spirit of God dwelling within her just like you do … or, at least, like you're supposed to. Do you know what that means? It means that whatever you do to your wife (or anyone else for-that-matter) you're also doing it to God!
Stings just a little bit doesn't it? It's meant to!
I'm a single guy and, don't get me wrong, it has its benefits. I can come and go as I please, eat whatever I want whenever I want, watch whatever I want, I can walk around my house naked (sorry for that mental image) and I don't have to answer to anyone (at least not yet). But, I also get lonely sometimes. Sometimes I'd like someone to talk to at the end of the day. I mean, my dog is great company, but she doesn't offer any suggestions or give me any compliments. Heck, she never does the dishes and I have to use a pasta ladle to scratch my own back! The point is, there are times when I'd love to have someone else in the house to simply share life with. And when I hear men complain about their wives doing this or that, or not doing this or that, or about the fact that they didn't “get any” last night because she “had a headache”, it kinda pisses me off. Just try going fifteen years! That'll give you some perspective on “instant gratification”!
Turns out that this subject can't be covered in just one 1,000-word (give or take) article. So maybe I'll return to this subject next month.
Or … maybe not.
Today is the day. Now is the time. The battle is on!
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)