During the next six lessons we will look at the detail supporting these Biblical Ground Rules. We will begin with a brief review of the following:
If we cannot agree we will not be disagreeable.
Granted, this is sometimes easier said than done. We should expect a man and a woman to bring different perspectives into a marriage relationship. To be different is not necessarily to be wrong. Different can mean to be better.
A husband’s perspective combined with his wife’s perspective can ultimately become their perspective. Genesis 2:24 re-enforces this conclusion: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh.” That is to imply to be of one perspective.
Some maintain that for marriages to succeed couples most continually negotiate a series of compromises.
Let’s look at this more closely before adopting this principle. In a compromise each person usually must give up something.
In most compromises the dominant personality usually wins out over the passive personality. But does that prove the passive perspective is not as valid as that of the dominant personality’s perspective? Certainly not!
An interesting observation can be made at this point: They (who ever they are) also say opposites attract yet one of the leading causes of divorce is incompatibility.
Before the fall of man the only thing God saw that was not good was that man should be alone. God’s remedy was to create the woman.
As much as this might bother some men to hear this – creation was not complete until the woman was created.
Creating the male first did not establish his superiority, rather it established his need: “And the Lord God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone.’”
Creating the woman second did not establish her inferiority, rather it established her mission: “I will make a help meet for him.
To understand that the man and the woman are both different but equal in value requires further explanation.
Liberty Bible Commentary states:
“When God finished His creation (Gen. 1:31), He noted that everything was very good. Thus, until Eve was created the creative activity of God was not complete. This is the first time in the history of creation that God said, ‘It is not good….’ Man needs a wife who is a helper. If man is to achieve his objectives in life, he needs the help of his mate in every way. Her position is further defined by the expression, ‘like him,’ literally, ‘as agreeing to him or his counterpart.’ She is the kind of help man needs, agreeing with him mentally, physically, spiritually; but she is not an inferior being.”
God has programed four areas of responsibility into men. The husband is to be a provider, teacher, protector and leader.
He has programed into the woman the reality that the wife is to be a companion, helper, to bear life and a creator of beauty i.e. home-making instincts.
This does not pre-conclude she cannot, or should not, work outside the home as evidenced by Proverbs 31:10-31.
Collectively, in marriage, blending these areas of responsibility becomes the process of cooperation not compromise.
Let’s look at the mechanics of this process in a Bible-based marriage relationship.
If the husband is to help his wife to develop her full potential then she is better equipped to complete him.
Therefore, the more complete he is the better he is able to help her to develop.
In marriage the only argument then would be: Who can best serve, and best agree.
We will never be without problems, but we should never be without a solution.
Rev. Thomas (Tom) C. Lacy, Advisory Board Member of the Virginia Christian Alliance and Founder and Director, of New Hope Counseling Service.