God created marriage as the first, and most blessed of all human institutions. He created it to bring man and woman great joy and fulfillment in life. God’s design, and desire, for marriage is perfect in every way.
Then why is it so dang hard?
Glad you asked. After 36 years, I have a notion that there are primarily two reasons: 1. The fall of the original couple broke fellowship with God, and brought an earthly curse on their pursuits – primarily work, and marriage. Notice in Genesis that man was created for work, and to be united with his helper/completer (woman) in marriage. Both were made “hard” after the curse. 2. The selfishness of man. Given the ability to choose at creation, man chose, and still chooses, what he thinks is best for himself most of the time. It is our default switch.
Marriage doesn’t have to be so hard. God has gone to great lengths to spell out very clearly what a husband and wife should do in order to have the kind of relationship He intended for them to have. He specifically lays out the “directions” for us to follow. Ahhhh – there is the problem. Being a man, you can probably relate to trying to assemble something, or operate something, without every looking at the instructions. For some reason we believe that instructions are there to humble us and that we must rise above them in order to be real men.
Who among us hasn’t thought they could “figure it out on their own” and plowed ahead into such a task only to discover they had made a mess of things? Something in us compels us to “do it myself” and not ask for help. I call it selfishness (pride). This is the same culprit that keeps us from enjoying the wonderful gift of marriage, primarily because we think we know how to put it together too. We may have even been to a couple of classes or seminars along the way. We convince ourselves we don’t really need help with this either.
The honest truth is that we can’t put together a great marriage without reading, and re-reading the instructions. Marriage is way too complex, and there is far too much at stake to cling to our selfish pride on this one. If you recall, in Genesis, man and woman walked and talked with God every day of their lives. He personally taught them how things were supposed to be, and how their relationship was to work, and what the rules were for living on this amazing planet. He was involved in every aspect of their daily lives. That is why the Bible says Adam and Eve were “naked and without shame”. Their relationship was great because they allowed God to give them the daily wisdom and strength they needed.
What about you? What about me? Each of us has a decision to make – every single day. Will we allow God to walk and talk with us and instruct us regarding our marriage journey, or will we settle for coasting along, accepting a “pretty good” marriage? Will we check our pride and selfish expectations at the door, and seek Him daily for wisdom and strength? God gave Adam and Eve the option to choose for themselves in Eden.
He gives you and me that same choice every day.
It’s our move.