Keep Calm and Marry On


God's Great Design

When you and your spouse got married, your singleness became oneness, as Adam recognized so beautifully in Genesis 2. When God brought Eve to him, he responded with a poem that doesn't sound like much in English but has real merit in its original Hebrew:

This is now bone of my bones

And flesh of my flesh;

She shall be called Woman,

Because she was taken out of Man (v. 23).

It was as if he was saying, "Where have you been all my life?" even as he sensed the answer: she had been part of him, and now they were being reunited.

And Eve was meant to be "a helper comparable to him" (v. 18), as God put it. Now, God wasn't suggesting that the wedding vows read, "I take you to be my lawfully wedded maid, to wash and to fold from this day forward." The Hebrew word for helper, ezer, refers to someone who supplies something crucially lacking—a vital missing part. More often than not in the Old Testament, it's a word that describes God. Furthermore, the woman was to be a comparable helper to the man, his corresponding counterpart, like how the north pole must have a south pole.

Where Adam and Eve had been two people, now they were to be one unit—a covenant team. In the legal sense, a covenant is a binding arrangement that commits two or more parties to perform certain actions. When God calls a man and a woman to get married, they enter into a solemn, formal arrangement whereby they promise to act in certain ways toward each other for mutual benefit. Sounds serious, right? It is. This covenant between husband and wife is key to their new identity in marriage, established by God to reflect the life-giving, joy-filled, promise-keeping relationship He desires with all people.

God's plan for two to become one was and remains good. The flaw isn't in His design but our execution; we tend to drift back toward the island of self. But once you're married, there's no going back to that island—at least not without a lot of resultant damage. Remind yourself that your spouse is God's perfect gift to you (and frequently tell your spouse that, too)—not because either of you is perfect but because God is, and His plans for your marriage are good.

Tip #2: Talk up your spouse; be their biggest fan. Wives, it's so meaningful when you tell your husband that you believe in him and in his ability to do the right thing. Husbands, I've found that you can never tell your wife, "I love you" often enough. In fact, there's magic in those three little words, so make sure both of you say them to each other every day. Be sincere in what you say, but also make sure you say positive things out loud to each other when you think of them. It's a game changer.