As I was sitting with the Lord, wondering what this post should be about, the Holy Spirit asked me – why was it not good for man to be alone?
If you’ve been on the receiving end of a question from God, you know it’s often the start of a beautiful adventure into getting to discover something new about Him and life.
And down the rabbit trail we went.
Purpose anchors marriage.
This is key because in the world and to some degree the Church relationships are primarily governed by feelings. I’m with you as long as I feel I should be with you and move on when I feel it’s time to do so.
There is inherently nothing wrong with having a desire for a relationship, marriage and family. However, how we choose to meet this desire is where the disconnect between what God intended and what we end up with often comes in.
I’ve said this before, feelings are great and all but they’re a terribly fickle foundation to base a lifetime commitment on. Even outside the context of relationships, no one wakes up feeling the exact same way about anything every single day. We all experience highs and lows as the days go by. So while feelings do matter, they aren’t an anchor you can safely build your life on.
One of the feelings most associated with relationships is loneliness. Being alone and being lonely are two very different states of being. You can be alone and not lonely; you can also be lonely yet not alone.
Starting a relationship/marriage solely on its ability to cure loneliness isn’t a great idea. Because, remember, you can still be lonely in a relationship/marriage. If you don’t find wholeness in your relationship with God as an individual, you likely won’t find it in your relationship with another person.
Purpose gives context to marriage.
In Eden, Eve doesn’t find Adam idly sitting around feeling lonely and sorry for himself. He’s executing his mandate in the garden. She’s positioned as a helper who is suitable for him. Now, the arguments around wives being “helpers” are numerous and not really the point of this post. I will say this. To be a helper in the eyes of the world is a position of degradation and subjugation; to be a helper in the eyes of God is a position of esteem and honour. That this has been gravely misinterpreted, misunderstood and abused, even within Christian circles, goes without saying. But that doesn’t render God’s original intent and design invalid.
Inherent in Eve’s suitability for Adam is her suitability for the mandate he has been given by God; the mandate she is to “help” him with. Man does not make purpose; purpose makes the man. Purpose is what determines who a man is and who he isn’t, not the other way around. Purpose also determines who is a suitable life partner. In turn, purpose is determined by God.
God –> purpose –> man + woman (marriage)
Does this mean that a woman’s sole purpose is helping her husband achieve his? No. If this were the case we wouldn’t have the likes of Deborah, who was a judge and held her own during her time. Any human being – whether male or female – has a divine purpose/mandate they need to fulfill on earth.
In the context of marriage, a woman’s purpose comes under the headship of the man. Before any stone throwing begins, headship is not about control and manipulation. When God puts you in charge of something, He’s going to hold you accountable for its well-being. So a man is not only accountable for his purpose and well-being, but also the purpose and well-being of the woman God has entrusted him with as well as that of their children. It’s a very weighty responsibility if you think about it.
This means that while a wife is helping her husband achieve his divine vision, he too is responsible for creating and sustaining an environment where she can achieve her divine purpose and thrive while at it. Their two mandates complement one another and don’t compete against each other. So neither should they.
How this is expressed on a day-to-day basis is really between a couple and God. There are a dime a dozen templates both in the Church and in the world of what marriage and family should look like. But what works for one couple won’t necessarily work for the next because they are unique as individuals and their purpose certainly isn’t the same. Even where the calling is the same, the expression will differ per person, per couple. This is why I’m not one to nitpick on details so long as divine principles are being respected (including the absence of any form of abuse).
Not good for man to be alone.
What I uncovered delving into God’s question was another question that led to the answer for both – why does marriage exist?
In the simplest of terms that by no means adequately captures the full extent of it all – marriage exists to create a spiritual and natural environment where a man and a woman can fulfill their divine mandate on earth as it has been determined by God.
A divine marriage requires more than someone who’s your type or who makes you feel some type of way. There is something greater being established beyond the man, woman and their children.
And yet, it’s not the place where your needs, dreams and desires go to die. If anything, it’s the conduit that God uses to exceedingly and abundantly bless you beyond anything you could imagine.
Divine marriage is a powerful tool in God’s arsenal to simultaneously change your life and transform the world. When you see what He does, you won’t settle for anything less that His best for you.