I look back to my pre-marriage thoughts, well, at least what I can remember from so long ago, and realize I had many factors that distorted any healthy vision for my marriage. My father left my mother for the other woman when I was sixteen and basically destroyed any sense of family I had, and any positive ideas I may have had about marriage. My brother went with my father and they moved to another state, so I only saw them once or twice a year. My thoughts about marriage and family were totaly distorted at this time. In fact, I didn't think I wanted to ever get married.
My husband swept me off my feet, though, and changed my thinking about marriage, although my desires for it were a bit delusional. In looking back, I believe I had a huge need for stability in a family since mine had been shattered. Rick was the most stable, solid man I'd ever met and he turned my ideas of not wanting to get married into hope. Rick was totally different from the men I'd dated in the past, and I believe God led me to him despite my lack of interest in His plan for my life.
My idea for marriage was the perfect family, like the kind you used to see on television or in the movies. I can still envision that camera shot zooming into the Christmas light-trimmed window with snow softly falling. The view inside consists of a loving family - a mother, father, grandparents, children. All are smiling and talking with no conflict or anger in the air. They look at each other adoringly as they sing Christmas carols around the piano. That was what I thought marriage should be.
Because my vision for my marriage was not based on anyting real or according to the word of God, I almost destroyed the best thing that ever happened to me, my marriage to Rick.
So what should our vision for marriage be? If it's not the big house in the country, the white picket fence and the 2.5 children, then what is it?
I want to look at a few areas in the Bible that deal with marriage and compare them with some worldly ideas that contradict the word of God. This is where we get disillusioned with what marriage should be and what our vision for it should be. Because we are so inundated with the ways of the world, we need to know the word of God to keep our marriages strong and to realize a true vision for our marriages. Men and women are very different from each other and have different roles that God designed for us.
First off, in the second chapter of Genesis, the Lord God says, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
Right away we see that God intended us to be a helper to our spouse. The world has definite ideas these days about women being a helpmate. I would say the message the world sends is "you take care of your stuff and let him take care of his stuff". This contradicts God's words and our nature as women.
God made us to be nurturers and to take care of our husbands. He didn't just command us to "Do that!", He made us WANT to do that. Most of us want to, it's how we show our love and respect. It's not a sin or terrible thing to pick up after your husband or make lunch for him even though the world may look down at us for doing so. That desire to nurture your husband, though, may be buried among abuse and dysfunction if you come from that environment.
I watch my daughter and daughter-in-law, both independent, self-sufficient, modern women. They both love to wait on their significant other. It comes naturally, it's what they want to do. A worldly attitude can quickly sour that natural desire and turn it into conflict, though.
Have you noticed that regardless of how the world tells us men and women should be "the same", during gatherings and parties, the women always congregate in the kitchen and the men in front of the telelvision?
Stay tuned as I dig even deeper into the roles we play that affect our marriages and vision for our marriages.