What does “marriage” look like to a nineteen year old, in love, about to get married?
Yesterday I shared the diagram and summary I created for the essay I had to write during our pre-marital counseling.. Today I offer up the first part of my essay, marriage before The Fall.
(P.S. I think my writing skills have improved somewhat since then. One could only hope.) 😉
God’s Plan For Marriage
There are many different opinions about what marriage is supposed to be. There are disagreements over how authority is supposed to be implemented and to what extent. Likewise, there are many disagreements concerning the definition of submission. A large number of these discrepancies occur between men and women because of the changes marriage systems have undergone in the past years. The bible provides a picture of the marriage system as God originally planned it: A system where each partner is equal, but plays different roles.
“In the Beginning”
Originally, God created man, and then created a helper that was suitable, or equivalent, to him. Adam was given the responsibility to keep and tend the garden, and Eve was given the role of helper. Adam was also responsible for Eve because God had given the directive concerning the forbidden fruit to Adam only. It became Adam’s job to see that Eve knew about and followed the directive as well. (Genesis 2:15-22) Thus, God established a marriage system where Adam has an authority role with Eve as his helper, with no references to either role as being better or more desirable.
In the twenty-third verse of Genesis 2, Adam says “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.” Although no commandments are given here about how Adam should treat his wife, his statement makes several implications. The first thing that Adam implies is that he will love her. As the bible later mentions, no one hates their own flesh, but instead loves, cherishes, and nourishes it. (Ephesians 5:29) The next verse, Genesis 2:24, states that a man shall be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. So, even though Eve was actually created from Adam, later marriages should follow the same thinking because God makes the two one flesh. The other things that Adam implied with his statement is that he would protect and provide for Eve, just as he does for himself. All these things are examples of how God intended for the husband to treat his wife.
God described Eve as a suitable helper. ( Genesis 2:18-22) Being a helper instead of the one being helped automatically places Eve in a submissive position rather than a leadership position. Being a helper also means caring, honoring, obeying, and respecting. The two of them together, helping each other, means working together towards a common goal. The marriage system that God created began as a respectful helper and a loving leader that worked together; a relationship that was beneficial for both partners.
So, ignoring the fact that the writing level could be brought up a notch or two… thoughts? Opinions? Oh come on.. you gotta have an opinion. It’s SUBMISSION. Everybody has an opinion on THAT! 😉
I think I’ll save any comments on what I would say differently, now, after ten years of marriage until after I’ve shared the whole essay with y’all. Tomorrow I’ll share the post-fall portion.