We talked about God’s Order for a marriage last week. I pray you all understood that this is not a matter of value, but of organization, so that each spouse feels fulfilled in the growing relationship. Men are to lead and women are to be their helpers. Listen to God’s Word:
“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.’” Gen 2:18 NIV
Not good to be alone. Back in the Garden of Eden, God was in full communication with Adam. That is, their relationship was unhindered by sin and selfishness. Yet, God knew it was not good for Adam to be without someone he could more fully relate to. While our relationship with God is like no other we will ever have, God is, well, God. Because He is Perfect, it can tend to be a challenge to completely identify with Him. And so God planned to give someone to Adam to help him, and He creates Eve from Adam. Eve was meant to help Adam, not just to take care of the animals and the planet, but to help Adam in every possible way, including having a deeper relationship with God. You see, as Adam grew in his relationship with his wife, he also grew in his relationship with God. Think about any relationship we humans have. We must learn to trust each other, yes? And we must learn to forgive instead of holding a grudge. To be gentle instead of harsh. Well to sum it up, we must learn to be self-LESS instead of self-centered. This is a picture of God, complete and utter Humility, putting the one that is loved, ahead of Himself. Eve is supposed to help Adam live this kind of fulfilling life. But what happens instead?
Children must be selfish in order to survive. When a baby is born, they must cry if they are hungry, have a dirty diaper, need to be held, and so on and so on…if they don’t, they just might not get their needs filled. But at some point in that baby’s life, when they are no longer supposed to be a baby, he must learn that life is not about him. As we grow, we must learn to become self-LESS, after all we are made in the Image of God, Who as I said above is totally self-LESS. Also as I said above, part of this means we put the ones we proclaim to love ahead of ourselves. This is one of the most important lessons marriage is supposed to teach us. But if the fight to be the leader continues…well, this is sadly why there is a 50% divorce rate in and out of the Church. God’s order for marriage is that the man leads with the wife’s help…this is why God calls Eve, Adam’s helper. He cannot do it alone, nor was he ever meant to do so. Like God, the human heart has no limits to our capacity to love. But HOW we love makes all the difference as to whether our lives are abundant or not. If “I” am still at the center of love, then it is not love at all. I say again, God is completely self-LESS as He loves. He is more concerned with the ones He loves than His own comfort and reputation…if you are not sure, behold the Cross.
It is an honor to be a helper. Let me quote myself from last week here: “It is our honor and privilege to help our men reach this leadership position, but we cannot do this if we are trying to take the wheel”! I am speaking specifically to my Sisters here…but it can be very helpful for men to understand this too. I cannot say it enough, it is an honor to be our mate’s helper. Again, I always need to make this clear: we are not a slave with no value. We are mates with a mighty mission. One of the reasons this is such an honor is because of “the other person” that the Bible calls a helper…can you guess “who” that is? The NASB version of the Bible says it best in the Gospel of John 14:26. This is Jesus speaking here, “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and remind you of all that I said to you.” Did you see that? The Holy Spirit is our Helper! Now before we get too ahead of ourselves, Ladies, I am NOT saying that WE are our husband’s holy spirit (lowercase h and s)! But we are supposed to do for our spouses what the Holy Spirit does for all believers. What are some of these amazing jobs of the Holy Spirit, you ask? Glad you did. Here is a quick list: He connects us to God, encourages, elevates and empowers, intercedes and inspires, counsels and comforts, assists and advocates, He is by our side so we are never alone and shows us respect even, and especially, when we do not deserve it. My Sweet Sisters, we are supposed to do the same for our husbands. This is an honor: to display, in real ways, God’s Love to the man we most love, only second to Jesus. But do we see our role this way?
Nothing about life should be easy. Remember, we are imperfect humans, living in a corrupted world, with a real enemy that hates us because God so loves us. “Easy” should never be the goal in this life. But the real goal is to become more and more like Jesus. Transformation is the entire point to this life. So we can go to Heaven when our time here is done. And so we can have, enjoy and share this Abundant Life with as many as we possibly can before we leave. To know God and make Him known is the whole point. We are not saved just for ourselves, my Friends. And as God has, and continues to teach me, we are not saved by our growth and fruit, but others can be! If we show this broken world Who God is perhaps we can lead others to our Savior, so He can grant them Eternal Life too. One way we can do this is by living in God’s Order in our marriage. Showing this backwards world what God originally intended for this most sacred union. Mutual love and respect, with men at the helm, and woman freely, willingly and gladly being their helpers. Lord knows I still have a ways to go with this, but the more I lift my husband, Joe up, and put him before me, the more I see him growing in God’s Grace…and it is both an honor to participate and beautiful to experience. Want that too? Then won’t you join me?
Until we meet again, keep lifting your eyes to God, He’s closer than you think.
<>< Peace, Diane