by Rob Furlong
I mentioned last month about how we have become obsessed in our culture with programs like Married at First Sight or the new kid on the block, Date Night.
As I also said, I do not watch these programs, nevertheless, it is interesting to hear in the promos what people have to say about why they are prepared to put themselves on display in this way.
They speak about finding someone to share their life with and building a genuine partnership with another.
They all want a relationship that will last a lifetime.
And they want to be loved for who they are.
These desires run deep within all of us – scratch the surface and you discover that we are all looking for them – and they are part and parcel of what it means to be human.
But where do such notions come from?
For some of us, the answer will surprise us because these basic expressions of our humanness are found in the Bible!
Genesis 2 recounts for us the events surrounding the first wedding in history between Adam and Eve and it also unveils the core principles at the heart of marriage.
Marriage is about partnership.
When God announces that He intends to make for Adam a "...helper suitable" for him, He is stating that He will give Adam a partner in life, Eve, who will be his support, bring out the best in him and above all, be his counterpart.
It is tragic to see the constant struggle that goes on between the two sexes over equality when it is as plain as day that in the beginning God created men and women fully equal, both of them expressing what it means to be in "His image".
The best marriages are about partnership where the husband and wife intentionally seek to bring out the best in each other.
Marriage is about permanency.
For the man to become "united" to his wife, or as the Old English says, "to cleave to his wife" conveys a simple but profound truth.
It simply meant that the husband was to stick like glue to his wife.
Every marriage will have its tough days and tense moments. These are the times when we are faced with a choice – will we walk or will we stay? If we are committed for life, then we will choose the latter.
Marriage is about choosing wisely and well, clinging to each other with affection and loyalty – no matter what.
Marriage is about knowing each other deeply.
This is, perhaps, our deepest longing – to be known and loved for who we truly are.
In those very familiar words of the wedding ceremony, taken from Genesis 2, we are told that the "man and the woman were both naked and not ashamed."
This concept is beautifully described as a husband and wife being emotionally, spiritually, psychologically and physically naked before each other – "stripped and undisguised and totally open with each other" as one author has put it.
When a couple share their deepest emotions, thoughts, ideas, fears, hurts, celebrations and myriad other things, they build true intimacy and a strong, secure foundation for their physical relationship.
I believe that learning to know each other deeply will take a lifetime and, after a relationship with God, it is the most rewarding thing in the world.
It has been a gift from God for me to watch Karen grow into the woman that she is today as we have walked the road of our marriage together. As she has matured in her relationship with God and as a person I have had the enormous privilege of watching her blossom in so many areas – I can honestly say that I know her more deeply now than when we were first married!
Partnership. Permanency. Being truly known.
Deep desires that are met through the gift of marriage.•