White Picket Fence {by Daphne Roque}

Posted: February 29, 2012 in God
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Marriage. Oh, where to begin?

I suppose the only logical place is to begin where marriage actually began – in The Garden.

To be created in perfection and in the image of God is a thought really inconceivable to me. If Eve only knew how good she really had it. To be created genetically perfect and without flaws. The things that we as women can stress about such as cellulite, bad hair days, bloating and crows-feet, these would have never been an issue for Eve. That would be awesome! But if there was ever an example of ‘hind-sight is 20/20’, then just learn from Eve. What really matters is that humanity was forever changed as a result of that one historic decision.

Eve was not being malicious in any way, if anything her curiosity just got the best of her. She certainly was cunning and had a way of talking Adam into something he knew was wrong. It is interesting to me because this was prior to the fall. What Eve did was not a sin because at this point sin had not yet entered the world. They had yet to partake of the forbidden fruit. So, what was it about her? How could she so easily convince Adam to do something he had no doubt was wrong? Did she entice him with her naked body? We know that up to this point they were not even aware that they were naked, but certainly there was a natural, God-given attraction between the two.

Was it the way in which she approached him – a twinkle in her eye, a tone in her voice?

Perhaps it was the way she tossed her hair or maybe she used the incredible power of touch. Whatever it was, it came natural to Eve, as a woman, because that is the way God created her. Just like He created men to at times be easily persuaded or enticed by a woman. Now that we are living in a sinful world and we are undoubtedly depraved people, these natural, God-given attributes and abilities are far too often used to manipulate and control our spouse.

I can only imagine that the very first martial fight also occurred after this historic, life-altering event. Although there is no documented evidence of it, my thoughts are that it went something like this: Adam and Eve were very frustrated and trying to figure out how to sew their fig leaf fashions. Adam could have said, “How on earth could you have believed that smooth talking, slick snake?”

Eve in reply, “But Adam, you weren’t giving me any attention, you were out in the fields and I had no one else to talk to and that tree was just so beautiful.” Adam, certainly upset said, “But Eve, you were supposed to be helping me!” This is where it is most likely the ‘blame-game’ originated – the beginning of time. Although that scenario is fictional, the message is not.

How we interact with our spouse and treat each other is a part of developing our holiness. Psalm 10:19 says, “When there are many words, transgression is unavoidable, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” Also Psalm 18:21a says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Showing verbal restraint can be difficult in a heated situation, especially in marriage, but taking time to consider our words can lead to healing as opposed to catastrophe.

Not long ago I heard a very life-changing sermon about marriage. God created us to be Holy, not to be Happy. Say what? But what about “happily ever after”? Does He not care about that? Where is my white picket fence and this “marital bliss” that I’ve heard so much about? Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s not all about me. But, the reality is happiness is not the ultimate goal in marriage. Ephesians 1:4 says, “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him.”

Sure, He can bless us with unbelievable happiness along the way. Our God is gracious and awesome that way. But, this is God’s marriage, not mine. It is His creation, His covenant and designed to give Him glory. 1 Peter 1:15-16 says, “but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior, because it is written, ‘You shall be Holy, for I am Holy’”.

Knowing why we are married and why we should stay married is crucial. Are we planning to maintain our marriage just as long as our earthly comforts, desires and expectations are met? More than seeing marriage as a mutual comfort, we must see it as the most important thing humans have ever received – that there is a divine relationship between God and His people. 2 Corinthians 5:9 says we should make it our goal to please Him. When something is the motive force behind all we do, it becomes the driving force for every decision we make. Paul is very clear: The first question we should ask ourselves when doing anything is, “Will this be pleasing to Jesus Christ?”

The reality is this earthly life is short and I have an incredible responsibility to make it count. God knows me completely: flaws, insecurities and all. The scripture that really speaks to me regarding the urgency of striving to live a holy life is Psalm 103:14-16 which reminds me, “For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust. As for man, his days are like the grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourishes. When the wind has passed over it, it is no more.” Also, Psalm 144:3-4 says, “O Lord, what is man that you take knowledge of him? Or the son of man that you think of him? Man is like a mere breath; his days are like a passing shadow.” Meditate on that for a moment. We are ‘but dust’ or a ‘mere breath’ and just like the passing of a breeze or a fleeting shadow, we will no longer be.

When dealing with my husband, I must ask: Am I putting his needs before my own? Am I supporting him and demonstrating love and respect toward him in a way that he appreciates? Am I working to manage our home in accordance with his plan and leadership? Am I being a Proverbs 31 woman? After nearly 17 years of marriage I am still trying figure this thing out. What I do know is that I love him, even when I don’t (if you know what I mean).

Do I get it right all the time? No way. Most of the time? Not hardly. But thanks be to God that His mercies are new every day. Each day that He blesses me with another chance to grow in holiness, my goal is to please Him. If I do that, then I know Ronnie will be pleased. Maybe even happy. And when I have reached the end of this temporal, earthly life and have gone to be with my Heavenly Father, it is there that I will see those pearly gates with a white picket fence.

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