FIRST-PERSON: Marriage is a good thing
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) -- I sat at a table with some wonderful ladies the other night embarking on another year of seminary for their husbands. This year's theme for the group is Proverbs 18:22: "He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord."
The Lord has been working in my heart and mind about how marriage is such a "good thing." I am so grateful God blessed me with my husband almost 12 years ago. It's not necessarily because he and I are walking around in a sea of marital bliss and our lives are filled with ease and euphoric charity with each other all day long.
Quite the contrary, we have just recently come out of a very hard time in the life of our family. We love each other more than ever, and respect and value each other in ways that we never did before. However, in the hardest times of the last year and a half as well as the best times of recent days, God has constantly reminded me that marriage is a "good thing."
Why is this so? Surely, in our highly individualized, self-sufficient culture, God could see that one would do just fine on their own. Nope. That is not how God sees it. God created marriage and created His people to be in a covenantal relationship meant to last a lifetime.
Here are three ways marriage really is a good thing:
We are unified with our husbands
My husband and I do pre-marital counseling and I often share this reality: If you are having communication problems or forgiveness problems or times when one of you is simply demanding your way too much, it will show up in your physical relationship. God, in His great wisdom, created us for unity in heart and body, and you can't have one without the other.
In a different aspect, the writer of Hebrews says this, "Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge." Sex, within the context of marriage, works to protect ourselves from the pitfalls of sexual sins. Just like a loving parent sets up boundaries for their children to protect them, God has established the boundaries of marriage to protect His children from the grave dangers of illicit sexual behavior.
In marriage, you are unified and are a testimony to the lost world. This is a good thing.
In our companionship, we offer balance
Do you ever notice that ladies are less likely to be catty if husbands are around? Let's face it, we women have a tendency to rile each other up and feed off of the frenzy of gossip and lavish stories. However, in a co-ed setting, the environment is a bit more even-keeled.
In the same vein, when it is only men together, all sorts of barbaric activities ensue. Simply visit a group of bachelors living together. There will be sights and sounds and smells that are not allowed in a civil society.
A lady brings class and beauty to a group of men, and a man brings gravity and fortitude to a group of ladies. In His great wisdom and knowledge, God made us different, yet so fitted for each other. Therefore, because we all need it so badly, balance is a good thing.
A chain of command
Have you ever heard the phrase, "There are too many chiefs and not enough Indians"? Usually, I heard this around Thanksgiving when all of the ladies in my family were crammed into the kitchen, each intent on doing their cooking their own way. What came of it? Chaos. Finally, when one woman took charge (usually the actual owner of the kitchen), everything calmed down. One person made the casseroles and one person washed the dishes and one person made sure nothing was burning and so the list of tasks went on.
This is the same way in a marriage. God is not a God of chaos, but of order. We are all His children, and He desires a personal relationship with each of us individually. However, in the home, the husband is the head. He is the leader who will answer to God for the choices he makes for the family. The wife is the helper who assists her husband in whatever way is needed. As her husband submits to God, so she submits to her husband. If she is fighting for the role of headship of the family, only chaos will come.
As mentioned before, my husband and I went through a difficult time when many decisions had to be made. I can honestly say that I never understood the benefit of submission until this time in our lives. There were times when I would absolutely disagree with my husband. However, I trusted him and I trusted God to use him for His glory. In every situation, God was faithful, and I was reminded how wise and honorable my husband is.
Another word for submission is yielding. In our case, I would state my opinion and then willingly yield. My husband would make the best decision he knew to make and we would wait. Again, every time, my husband's decision worked out. Now, on this side of the trial, I admire and trust my husband more than ever. Yes, submission is a good thing.
I only have experience in one marriage and that is my own. However, I assume that most people wonder, at some point, if marriage really is a good thing. I pray that, no matter the circumstances, you will know in your heart that the answer is yes. We hold firm to the book of Proverbs and proclaim in agreement, "He who finds a wife finds a good thing." Lastly, marriage is a good thing because the One who created it is good. As Psalm 145:9 says, "The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works."