“Ideally, marriage is the submersion of two partial selves into the creation of one whole self.”
A solid foundation is needed in order to build a successful marriage. Marriage built on a sand foundation of merely physical or sexual attraction is as doomed as the proverbial house which could not withstand the tests of life. The Bible contains God’s perfect plan and purpose for marriage. There are many passages on marriage in the Bible but let us just concentrate on the very first Bible passage on marriage, in Genesis 2:18-25.
I. THE PRINCIPLE OF COMPLETENESS
In the passage we note that the work of creation on the sixth day could not be called “very good” for God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” And among God’s creation then, there was found no proper help to meet man’s need. Only when man existed as male and female could the creation of man be called “very good,” for only then could the divinely ordained cultural program unfold in its genealogical fullness. Our human incompleteness needs a partner. Marriage at its best is the world’s finest example that “the world is greater than the sum of its parts.”
In a real sense therefore, we can say that man is not complete without the woman. Thus, the institution of marriage conveys beautifully the principle of completeness, the man and the woman being made for each other.
As someone has so aptly out it: “Ideally, marriage is the submersion of tow partial selves into the creation of one whole self.”
II. THE PRINCIPLE OF COMPANIONSHIP
The Lord said, “I will make a companion for him.” Marriage is a partnership, and marriage partners would do well to share their lives with their partner to the fullest. The words “fitly joined together” are used by the apostle Paul to describe the Church emphasizing “togetherness.” I believe the same is true with marriage. The Lord has made each partner in the marriage bond fit for each other, and they are to live in togetherness in everything.
The relationship husband and wives are to have is clearly stated in God’s Word. The husband is to love his wife, even as Christ also loved the Church and gave Himself for it. The wife is to submit to her husband as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the Church. This is how the Lord has made them fit for each other. The husband and the wife are equal before God but in their proper places. It is folly indeed for us to ditch this divine program and expect God to bless our home or allow us to enjoy success or satisfaction in it.
III. THE PRINCIPLE OF COOPERATION
The Lord said, “I will make him a helper.” The woman was made for the man; not as his slave-girl but as his queen, for him to cherish and to love.
The Word of God has much to say about the responsibilities that each marriage partner is to fulfill. Although different from each other, yet they are complimentary. It is a delicate balance. In God’s plan the man and the wife need each other. It is impossible to place a comparative value on either the husband’s or the wife’s role. Neither is more important than the other.
The husband is the leader, but it does not mean that he is superior to his wife. His spere of responsibility is the leadership in his home. That is important, but not more important than a wife’s responsibility of molding a home from her husband’s provision.
The husband and the wife need each other to be successful in marriage. They must follow the principle of cooperation. the wife is not a house girl doing chores for the husband. Neither is the husband a houseboy to run errands for the wife. Rather, they must submit to each other as unto the Lord in love, self sacrifice and devotion to each other.
IV. PRINCIPLE OF COMMUNICATION- Communication through verbal and non verbal means.
1. Take pressure off when one is under stress. Help one another in this area with love.
2. Do not take each other for granted. On the contrary, ‘thoughtfulness goes a long, long way.’
3. Accentuate on the positive. Keep your mouth shut if you can not praise or compliment your partner. Words hurt more than deeds and they hurt deeply. Give love and happy memories.
4. Attack the deed, not the person.
Do not devastate the person just because he/she did a bad job. Love covers a multitude of sins.
5. Listen. Concentrate on what your partner is saying to you. This takes a lot of discipline but it is not impossible to achieve. Remember, the results are lasting and sweet.
V. THE PRINCIPLE OF COMMITMENT
The passage further says, “Therefor shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”
This is commitment. As soon as the marriage partners are pronounced man and wife, they are committed to each other for life. They have crossed the ‘point of no return’ as far as the marriage is concerned. They can only move forward. They are making a lifetime decision and choice. They have made absolute commitment to each other.
The commitment ot each other becomes more beautiful and enduring when founded on their commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ. We must put Jesus Christ first in our home. “For except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it.” A Christ-centered marriage and home should be the goal of every Christina couple. We can only establish it on the biblical principles of completeness, companionship, cooperation and commitment to each other and to the Lord.