Tuesday, April 13, 2010

God's Strategic Design for Marriage

Last night we had a lively chat in The Meeting Room based on Chapter 5 of "The Singlehood Phenomenon," which is "A Poor Understanding of the Purpose of Marriage." We discussed society's negative view of marriage, which is based primarily around the divorce epidemic. This epidemic began shortly after the sexual revolution of the 1960's; the no-fault divorce and many other societal problems continue to contribute to the problem. Unfortunately, we ran out of time before getting to the heart of the matter, so here it is:

Unfortunately, children of divorce have a very difficult time trusting their partners for the security of their relationship and have inherited a negative perception of marriage. Isn't this sad? God's perfect, original plan for marriage has been trampled upon by our narcissistic society.

Michael Craven, a noted author, speaker and apologist, has this to say about God's design for marriage:

Marriage is more profound than our contemporary culture would lead us to believe. It is a lifelong commitment that restrains self-centeredness, self-indulgence, and self-gratification. It is the one relationship that effectively prepares and conditions us for community.

Drs. Rodgers, the authors of "The Singlehood Phenomenon," remind us that God created man in his own image. The first man had dominion over all creation and was responsible for tending the earth, caring for all of creation and protecting all that God had given him. He did not have the option of being passive or fearful. He was created with the responsibilities and the innate abilities to meet those responsibilities. (Aaaaahh, God's original design ... )

One of Adam's responsibilities was to name all of the beasts, birds, etc. that God created. In order to name something in the Old Testament, this meant you had to (deeply) know someone or some thing. So Adam had to spend time with each of the living things, establishing relationships with them, in order to name them.

Of course, in getting to know all of God's creatures, Adam was left feeling lonely because although all of the creatures had their mates, there was not any creature like himself. He needed a special relationship of his own. In fact, the only part of the creation narrative that God said was "not good" was that man was alone. God knew Adam needed a "helper comparable," one just like him with whom he could establish a relationship.

Hmmm ... so why didn't God make Eve at the same time he made Adam? He wanted Adam to realize his need - to see the value of a "helper comparable." Adam craved connection - he was lonely, hungry for companionship, and pining for a relationship. So God granted his heart's desire and Adam got to name Eve, which means that he formed a relationship with her.

Note that Adam was the one who needed a relationship. God designed him to be the leader. No wonder women plead for men to pursue them - it is God's awesome, strategic design.

I believe that despite what we are led to believe by today's culture and the attitude of serial and perfectionist daters, men and women still have that deep (if not hidden) desire for true committed connection. We were created for community - not necessarily to make us happy and content, but to grow us. However, we can become happier and more content as we settle into the person the Lord has designed us to be.

Check out "The Singlehood Phenomenon" at Cache' Connections and join Linda/Founder in The Meeting Room next Monday night at 8:00 pm CST for Chapter 6, "Fear of Getting Hurt."

~ Linda

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