Thursday, October 04, 2007

Husband and Wife: Are We Compatible With God?

Part 1: Lord, What is My Role?
American culture has “progressed” for women, thus making us more independent in nature.

“Daddy’s Little Girl” learns to become so self-reliant that she begins to take on some of the roles of a man. This is often done with good intentions, but the results lead to confusion and our actions take us further away from God’s intended purpose for women.

Today, more women are providing for themselves and their families as the main breadwinner and the primary caretaker, assuming the role of mamma and daddy, husband and wife.

Adam and Eve are the first example of a husband and wife that we have in the Bible. Before Adam was given a wife, he was given a job, working in the Garden of Eden. It was then that God explained to him not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and explained that he would die.

Now let’s stop for “station identification.” Man was alone, following only God’s instructions. When you were a newborn, having no knowledge of good and evil, your first instinct was to be dependent on your mother/father for everything. When we are single we should be like newborns, like Adam when he was single doing the Lord’s work, dependent on God’s instructions because our Father knows what’s best for our future.

After Adam worked in the Garden and the rules were explained about the forbidden tree, God said, “It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Surprisingly, this is not when he made woman. At this point, God created the animals and brought them to Adam to see what he would name them. “But for Adam no suitable helper was found.” (Gen. 2:20) God knew that Adam would recognize that none of the animals were comparable to him. To come to this realization, he allowed Adam to search for his helper unknowingly amongst creatures that did not have the same kind of relationship with God that he had. Sound familiar? How often do we search for a mate that we want to be a humble servant of God within people that don’t even share a comparable relationship to God?

The Bible doesn’t tell us what the conversation between God and Adam was regarding what took place to create woman, but somehow he understood that God created her for him out of his own flesh. Just as God created Eve for Adam to be his helper, God has created someone specifically designed for you, men. Stop searching for your “Eve” among serpents and lions. Women, allow God to bring you to him. While you are waiting, meditate on Paul’s advice to singles. Concern yourself with the Lord’s affairs. (1 Corn. 7:32) “I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.” (1 Corn. 7: 35)

Part 2: Conversation With Paul
Understanding how God created men differently from women is much harder to comprehend then why we are created.

Physically and emotionally we are designed differently. Physically, most men are built with more muscles to work and take care of people, places and things. Their natural instinct is a desire to fix problems and situations. Most women, on the other hand, like to analyze and understand problems and situations before we attack them. Emotionally, men seem to be a bit more logical and consistent than women.

Paul recognized a pattern in men of being weak in relation to women. He makes it clear in 1 Corn. 7 what his opinions are and what God’s commandments state for married and single lifestyles. (1 Corn. 7:6) He had very strong ideas about marriage.

When we look at marriage from a historical perspective, we can understand why Paul preferred singleness to marriage. Let’s revisit Adam and Eve where we last left off... God had just brought Eve to Adam and he called her woman. In an analytical conversation with the serpent, Eve gave into temptation and ate of the forbidden tree. After which, Adam put his commitment to Eve before God and consequently lost his job in the Garden of Eden. Paul reminds us in 1 Tim. 2:13 and 14, “For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived and became a sinner.”

“Eve was deceived, while Adam ate the fruit deliberately, author Michelle McKinney Hammond wrote, “He knew the cost of partaking of the fruit, but he also knew the cost of not eating it – separation from Eve. He chose Eve over God at that moment.” (What to Do Until Love Finds You, pg. 179)

Sometimes, for a moment, we allow our fleshly desires and impure thoughts to consume us. Though Paul was writing to the church in Corinth, his letter still pertains to Christians, today. There are questions and problems that arise in our lives due to our cultural environment. Paul’s advice allows us to discern right from wrong and further more what is expedient. God allowed Paul to practice self-control. According to Paul, self-control was his gift from God and he wished we all had it. (1 Corn. 7:7) He wished more people would be married to God, devoting ourselves completely to pleasing God and no man (or woman).

While studying how to strengthen my role as a single Christian woman, I imagine how a conversation would go with Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God. (Ephesians 1: 1) Though I may find Paul to be a bit extreme at times, I understand that his nature as a man was to fix the status (remain single) where situations develop that can lead to sin. But, was not Paul a man, just as Adam was a man? All men (and women) have fallen short of the glory of God. I agree with many of Paul’s perceptions of the single man’s devotion to God, but question some of his tactics. God said it wasn’t good for man to be alone and gave him man’s best friend… Still a feeling inside seeks a piece of them (symbolically their own flesh) is missing, a suitable helper. That same feeling encourages man to pursue women in search for oneness/wholeness. As a woman, my human instinct is to want to understand what is keeping Christians in sin. What is provoking us to sin? Does it begin with our thoughts? I would suggest finding ways to remove those thoughts that stir us to sin as singles and married couples. Know that you will sin if you are married or not married. Ask yourself; will you be stronger with a helper or without one?

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

You write very well.