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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: Pt 43 Leave and cleave

What GOD intends for married couples is the leave and cleave principle…

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Male discovering Female

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:24-25)

Imagine as a man, awaking to the presence of Eve, a more beautiful, softer, gentler version of yourself. Wow!

And this is what happened for Adam.

Adam went to sleep alone but awoke with Eve in his presence (Genesis 2:21-23)

Significance of Eve’s arrival

When Adam says, “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man” (Genesis 2:23) he sounds excited! Then they get married and establish the template for marriage:

The man leaves his parents and becomes one flesh with a woman, his wife. And there is no shame.

That’s the template for marriage: one person in two, one body nurturing all its parts, soul and body laid bare and without shame.

Beautiful!

What about singleness

Paul talks about singleness and prefers it. But he also says it is better to marry than to sin (not to have sex out of wedlock, I assume he means). Singleness is a calling, just as marriage is a calling. We are not incomplete if we don’t marry. It is simply that if we do, a healthy marriage means the man no longer is tied to his parents, and the man and woman enjoy one another and feel as naturally comfortable when together as if they were still alone.

Leave and Cleave

So I hope and pray for marriages, that we can get back on track as a society, and at least for those who love Jesus, that we can love GOD, love one another, but especially prioritise and enjoy the marriage that GOD intends for us: intimate, free and surrendered to one another in trust, devotion and love.

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GOD'S STORY

GOD’S STORY: part 40 Marriage

What is GOD’s Perspective on marriage? 

Biblical marriage is between a man and a woman just as GOD made Adam and Eve, a man and a woman, to start off humankind.

Preparing the Bride for GOD’s Story

How do we prepare as the Bride of Christ? One aspect is to learn GOD’S STORY. He created us in His image…. Piece by piece, and peace by peace, we learn to walk as He has walked. And we learn His perspective. 

Genesis 2:18 reads,

“And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.””

Equal but different

We can argue ’until the cows come home’ whether women are able to preach or teach. There is scripture that can be picked out for both cases.

We can debate whether woman obeying husbands is dated or current.

We can discuss homosexual Rome and elsewhere in Ancient Times.

But this space is not about debate. It is looking into GOD’s point of view from Creation until now, as best we can…

Why GOD created women

I purport that in making woman for man, it means to GOD’s eye, it was not good for man to be alone. Male and female animals had been created. GOD was Adam’s companion. And yet, man should also have a partner, a female person who would help him.

This means women have something to offer that men don’t have, as I see it. That’s why man needs help from someone else, who is female rather than male. 

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)

One flesh means equal. Of course we’ll explore this more when we come to this verse in our chronological approach. Two parts become one and make a new “whole”.

Partners

Marriage is a partnership. What is a partnership? 

Psalm 133 says, “How good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity…” 

Partnership in GOD means both members trust Him, both believe in Him, both follow Him (not to be unequally yoked). It means rowing together not against one another. It means supporting each other and adapting strategies so that they can work together to achieve the common goal. It means having the same common goal.

Partnership is two or more equals striving together, complementing one another. In the case of marriage, it is two people rowing together.

Obedience and Love

Ephesians 5:25 states,

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her,” and for far too long, for some, this has been overlooked, with emphasis going to that which comes before, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (Ephesians 5:22)

Since, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16) then I will use this truth to discuss the relationship between man and woman from the time of GOD’s Creation.

There are a couple of verses telling wives to obey their husbands. Then there is a stream of verses telling men to love their wives. I wonder if that is significant. Is it GOD’s sense of humour? Or do men need to be given detailed reason rather than simple instruction to get them to recognise GOD’s guidance in this matter?

What is sure is that obedience and love go hand-in-hand. One is not conditional on the other. One is not more important than the other. From GOD’s perspective, wives need to obey and He tells them so, likely because it isn’t easy for women to do so… and because men inherently need respect. Equally, men need to love their wives, and instruction is plain, probably because men need it spelled out…. and women need to be loved.

Both obedience and love are difficult for us. GOD prefers obedience over sacrifice, though He gets a lot of sacrifice historically. And He is love, expressing it perfectly as no human can manage.

Conclusion

There is not hierarchy in marriage. There is partnership. There is no superiority in marriage. Both answer to GOD. That’s the starting place. He encourages each to reach beyond their ability for the benefit of the other and of the partnership.

Of course there will be cultural nuances. Of course the buck needs to stop somewhere and so husbands are responsible, ultimately, to GOD. Eve was deceived. Adam sinned. There is a difference in GOD’s eyes between the two. Men are physically stronger than women. Women are more naturally empathetic, and so on go the differences.

But all-in-all, to my mind, the LORD does not suggest men are more equal and women less so. We need to love one another and respect one another (my opinion) and follow the pattern GOD outlines in His Word. 

The two were one flesh — Eve made from the flesh of Adam. And so goes the pattern of a Godly marriage.

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Examining Biblical Scripture Supernatural & Prophetic

Praying for your Spouse

Psalm 88

1 O Lord, God of my salvation,

I have cried out day and night before You.

2 Let my prayer come before You;

Incline Your ear to my cry.

3 For my soul is full of troubles,

And my life draws near to the grave.

4 I am counted with those who go down to the pit;

I am like a man who has no strength,

5 Adrift among the dead,

Like the slain who lie in the grave,

Whom You remember no more,

And who are cut off from Your hand.

6 You have laid me in the lowest pit,

In darkness, in the depths.

7 Your wrath lies heavy upon me,

And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah

8 You have put away my acquaintances far from me;

You have made me an abomination to them;

I am shut up, and I cannot get out;

9 My eye wastes away because of affliction.

Lord, I have called daily upon You;

I have stretched out my hands to You.

10 Will You work wonders for the dead?

Shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah

11 Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave?

Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction?

12 Shall Your wonders be known in the dark?

And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

13 But to You I have cried out, O Lord,

And in the morning my prayer comes before You.

14 Lord, why do You cast off my soul?

Why do You hide Your face from me?

15 I have been afflicted and ready to die from my youth;

I suffer Your terrors;

I am distraught.

16 Your fierce wrath has gone over me;

Your terrors have cut me off.

17 They came around me all day long like water;

They engulfed me altogether.

18 Loved one and friend You have put far from me,

And my acquaintances into darkness.

A wife’s prayer for her husband (or husband’s for a wife)

This morning as I continued my way through Psalms, I reached Psalm 88 and was struck at how apt it is to my personal storm (see Hold On).

My husband is in hospital at the moment. And this psalm as a prayer seemed apt for us both. Some lines echo for myself, others on his behalf.

Verses 1, 2 are my voice, telling GOD how I have felt through this time.

Verses 3 – 5 are a reflection of my husband’s position in hospital, vulnerable and very sick.

Verses 6-9a expands upon hubby’s position. He is unconscious – even his eyes cannot see.

Verses 9b – 13 echoes my cry to the LORD to be heard, for the situation to change, for GOD to act.

Verses 14-18 describe the faithfulness of my husband (15) but the consequences of GOD’s seeming silence.

After reading the Psalm in silence, and recognising the parallel to our lives at the moment, I read it again out loud. 

Then the LORD gave me the word: REVIVE. And that is the call and prayer for today: that my husband will revive now. 

“Now” does not mean immediately, although it can mean immediately. Now means it shall begin. Time is GOD’s by creation and mechanism. Yesterday, tomorrow and today are not restrictions for GOD. He manages all matters from His framework.

I know the LORD has heard me. Even the doctors testify of the repair in progress. I have given the time to the Father Yehovah GOD, and the time is in His hands.

Why I say this to you

I am not writing this to you for prayer support, although if the LORD prompts you to pray, that is wonderful. I am not writing this as a means of cathartic expression. I am writing this to you, who are married, so that you too might be led to apply a psalm to your situation. It may be Psalm 88 or another.

I am not restricting this to married people, for all of us have prayers for our loved ones. 

But I am also saying something specific about the prayers of married people. The two become one flesh is hugely significant; to overlook it is a lost miracle. For GOD has given us a way to pray for our spouses that, until recently, I overlooked. We can pray as one flesh: we can pray and take on the afflictions of our spouse in a supernatural way, if we have the GOD-given faith for it and the revelation. We do not become sick but we gain insight into the illness and ultimately, we can command it to go, In Jesus’ most wonderful name.

Blessings all as you meditate on Psalms and prayerfully consider this word I’ve shared.