“Enjoying the Pleasures; Avoiding the Potholes”
Saturday afternoon, my wife and I attended a funeral calling several miles from our home. We try to make ministry opportunities not only about whom we are serving but about serving each other and working at our marriage. After checking the GPS, I saw we could navigate a new direction for much of our drive to the funeral home. We enjoyed the quiet conversation, the beauty all around us, and the adventure of “wonder what’s around the next curve or over the next hill?” We were not disappointed. We certainly enjoyed the pleasures of marriage this day on the scenic route.
As we continue this journey of “Taking the Scenic Route in Marriage,” there a few more pleasures I want share with you. May I add that in our marriages, especially as believers in Christ, there should be many more pleasures than potholes (which we will consider in the future).
So far we have seen several aspects of a husband being his wife’s protector as well as being her pillow. You can check those out in Blog Posts #4 – #8.
Today, let’s consider “partnership.”
God made two intriguing statements in Genesis 1-2 about His creation. The first is found in Genesis 1:31, And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. Then in Genesis 2:18, Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.
The very first time God says that something is not good is in reference to man being alone. Adam was living in perfect fellowship with Jehovah Elohim as well as dwelling in the midst of the beautiful Garden of Eden, and God said, It is not good that the man should be alone. Wow!
Before we move on, let’s add some commentary from Steven Cole that are helpful: “Sometimes super-spiritual people say that if you’re lonely, there must be something wrong with your spiritual life. But God acknowledges our need not only for fellowship with Him, but also with a life partner. This is not to say that every person needs to be married. Everyone spends many years of life as a single person. God has called some to remain single (1 Cor. 7:7-9). Nor is it to say that marriage will meet all our needs for companionship. Married people need friends of the same sex. But it is to say that a main reason God designed marriage was to meet the human need for companionship.”
Husbands, let that sink in for a moment—-“. . . a main reason God designed marriage was to meet the human need for companionship.” Men, you need your wife, and she needs you.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
Drink water from your own cistern, flowing water from your own well. Should your springs be scattered abroad, streams of water in the streets? Let them be for yourself alone, and not for strangers with you. Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth. (Proverbs 5:16-18)
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? (Ecclesiastes 4:9-11)
These passages speak so much to the need and fulfillment of partnership, companionship in marriage. Consider this: A husband and wife should be each other’s best friend.
Outside of your personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, your best friend should be your spouse. Yes, as a man you like to get together with your buds and play sports, work on a project, engage in some outdoor activity, and that is good. But your greatest desire should be to do things with your wife. She should be your best friend.
How sad to see husbands and wives living on separate tracks of life. They have separate careers, separate bank accounts, separate goals, separate work hours, separate recreation, separate expectations for their kids, separate meal times, and sadly, in some cases, separate bedrooms. Here’s two married individuals acting like they are separated and wondering why in some cases they are headed for divorce.
God never intended for married couples to do life alone. He said it was not good. And since God said it was not good for a man to be alone, then men, you are to be the initiator in seeing to it that your wife is your best friend, your most faithful companion . . . and may I say, not your dog or truck.
How can this happen? Here’s some suggestions:
- Set a time in your weekly calendars for a date. Rotate each week who sets the agenda for that date. Here’s a good site for some great ideas. Tweak them accordingly: Weekly Dating Ideas
- Go over the list of “separate” things I mentioned above and talk through how you can turn “separate” into “partnership,” things you do together.
- Communicate with each other about your work, home, desires, dreams, etc.
- Together, help your wife with the children, the chores around the house, washing dishes—do them together. My wife and I have had some fun times working in the kitchen together!!
- Talk about your walk with God, what the Lord showed you in His Word each day, pray with each other, sit together in church, serve together during the week, etc.
- Let conflict draw you closer to God and therefore to each other.
- Speak words of grace and love to each other. (Remember what you said to each other when you were dating. Resurrect those terms of endearment.)
- Be honest and transparent with each other. Bring your friend into your heart, your thoughts.
A reminder men, you are the imitator in all of this. Even if it is intimidating to you, share that intimation with your wife, your best friend. She will understand. She’ll be glad you are at least making the effort.
And wives, let him lead; let them falter; let them make the effort. Pray for them.
One of the great pleasures of the scenic route in marriage is travelling together, holding hands, and sharing your heart. Just being together. Are the two of you becoming one more-and-more each day?
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.