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Can God Get Glory from My Life?

    by Dominique Henderson

God's Valentine Wish for Your Marriage
Date Posted: February 14, 2010

And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:23-25

We can trust like clockwork that every year the retail industry will capitalize on the over-commercialization of Valentine’s Day. Roses, boxes of chocolates and stuffed bears are sold by the droves as individuals show an expression of love or affection for another individual. However, I would like to focus on God’s “Valentine’s Day”. God’s original design of marriage and family has been skewed by the human race. But if we care to take note of God’s original plan we can enjoy happy, fulfilling marital relationships within his parameters. Before looking at any of these concepts, I want to make it clear that I don’t have a particular political stance on any of these matters. My stance is biblical in nature. It is based on the truth of scripture and my faith that everything that is written in the Bible is directly from the mouth of God. Many individuals don’t share that same stance and therefore it is obvious that there will be discordant views with my own. However, I’ve enjoyed a happy and fulfilling marriage for nearly thirteen years now. I have three children from that same union and the relationship is thriving as a young plant might near a stream of water. THis plant is receiving everything it needs to survive: water, air and sunlight. Without any one of these key elements the plant will eventually die. There are elements of a marriage that are crucial to its survival very similar to a plant.

Knowledge of Identity

God instituted the marriage relationship on the basis that Adam was alone and without a companion.

And the LORD God said, "It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him." So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. Genesis 2:18,20

Right here we have the reason that God created Eve. It was to compliment the creation of man. Although some women have found this reasoning offensive, I see it as one of the highest compliments ever given by God. Better than wisest of all time (Solomon), better than “man after my own heart” (David), better than greatest born of a woman (John the Baptist), the wife is God’s finishing touch on every man. Rather than looking at it from the standpoint of women being God’s afterthought with no identity apart from their husband the exact opposite is true. In God’s eyes, man was incomplete without woman. I often use the phrase “my better half” when describing my wife, but that is actually a far cry from what God designed. God intended that two individuals create one flesh—not two halves create one whole. I cannot tell you the many occasions in which I as the leader of our home have sought the valuable input and perspective that my wife offers in decisions that will affect the entire family. Her advice brings a comfort with the final decision that we move forward with. This is the way that God designed it and it is beautiful! An insecure husband unsure of his role as leader in the home is threatened by his wife’s input. However, the godly wife contains an invaluable resource of advice and wisdom that has been placed in her by her Heavenly Father. This input can be used mightily by God to bring success and prosperity to her home (see Proverbs 14:1). She has the divine nature of Christ just like the man (so she is not second fiddle), but in God’s awesome design for marriage he has made her to be a compliment –not a competitor. I didn’t always understand this, but when the Holy Spirit began to reveal this truth (see John 16:13) to me it changed my marriage for the better.

Separate to Unify

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. Genesis 2:24

By far, I think this concept is the most important and therefore is the most difficult to carry out. I often say that God doesn’t make things complicated, we do. I’ll share a portion of my life as an example of what I will attempt to explain. In the first semester of my junior year in college, my wife (then girlfriend) became pregnant with our first child. It was unplanned, but was the result of the sin in which we decided to partake. Nonetheless, since we intended on marrying we went ahead and moved up our date. By May of 1997, we were exchanging wedding vows with my bride-to-be six months pregnant. However, we were faced with an immediate challenge at the end of that summer: do I continue school and leave my new wife and baby back home (a.k.a. “the easy way out”) or do I take my new family with me while I do whatever necessary to finish my degree? Before I continue, I want to make it clear that there is a wrong way and a right way to do things. I obviously chose the wrong way by having a child out of wedlock because that was never God’s intention for us. However, I also strongly believe that he is able to turn something totally wrong into something beautiful (see Romans 8:28). Despite all the challenges we would face and the opinions of many close to us, we decided (together) to separate from “familiar” and unify along the path of “unfamiliar”. This decision was not met with ease. There were great challenges ahead that we had not considered and we had a lot of disagreements in that little house we shared out in the country 4 hours away from the nearest relative. We didn’t have the convenience of having an argument and running to mom and dad, we had to stick it out together. And I’m sure my wife questioned many times what in the world had she gotten herself into. In the hustle and bustle of that type of life, with me trying to finish up my senior year and graduate, having a small baby and a new marriage things were extremely tough. There were many nights were I didn’t get any sleep because the baby was sick and didn’t know about my 8 o’clock exam the next morning. In spite of all of this, God saw us through and we made it. Most of all, we are able to say that almost after thirteen years that it was the best decision. There was a unity that that experience gave us that we would not have had unless we left home—the familiar. This is why the Bible clearly commands the husband and wife to each leave father and mother (family) in order to establish their oneness. The implication is that oneness isn’t established unless there is a distinct, on-purpose separation from the comfort and familiarity of family. There is a bond between child and parent that must be severed in order to form the bond between husband and wife that is crucial to the marriage “plant’s” survival.

Transparency That Causes Intimacy

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. Genesis 2:25

It is my opinion that this is one of the most overlooked verses in the entire bible. God is saying such a mouthful here. There is a paradox in this verse that sets off all types of things in my mind. It is the concept that someone could be “naked” and “not ashamed” (of their nakedness). Of course in our culture we understand naked to be essentially unclothed in some way. But this term in the bible is actually much more powerful as it describes their state of being after God put them together as a unit. It gives the ultimate picture of the oneness and intimacy (God intended for marriage) because they were in a state of unity amplified and enhanced by the fact they had nothing to hide. They had nothing to hide from each other or God and this magnified the degree of intimacy between them. So there you have it. The key ingredient for increasing intimacy (not just the physical) in a marriage is having nothing to hide from God or your mate. This can be a hard concept to grasp, because many of us come into marriage with baggage. We live our lives prior to marriage in compartments. At least this was true for me. Before marriage I painted a picture of myself that was only partially true and after the vows were exchanged the real “me” came to light. However, in the beauty of the unity God created in marriage is the notion of selflessness and humility. You only rob your marriage of its potential when you selfishly hide behind your past fears, sins or mistakes. It is up to you to trust that God placed you with the individual that is to complete you and will assist you in becoming more Christ-like—hang-ups and all. I can truly say that once my wife and I began to share the things that shamed us, God divinely drew us closer to each other within that state of brokenness. This is not to say that this can be an unprotected, process without boundaries. In many cases, we involved a trustworthy outside party that provided biblical counsel in matters where we were vulnerable. Naturally, the fear is that you will reveal something to your mate that will be a “deal-breaker”. And it is true that the way we process disappointing news can send a weak or healthy marriage for a spin. I’ve talked and shared with men that have lost their marriages because of past mistakes and failures. But never once did they ever say that one particular incident (e.g. infidelity) ended their marriage. They always confessed that it was a series of bad behaviors and decisions that ultimately ended their marriage. Their ultimate regret was not sharing with their wives what led them to those behaviors. This is why I urge the constant communication of married couples to share openly with each other their challenges and struggles in prayer and within the presence of wise counsel. Afterwards, we can confidently place our faith in God to heal and restore whatever we might have destroyed. In the end, he gets the glory and the marriage that may have once been wounded is now stronger.

Use this Valentine’s weekend to reflect on the blessing God has given you through your mate. Thank him for the great compliment he has given you to carry out your kingdom purpose and pray for grace and strength to implement his design for marriage into your lives. You will begin to see your mate less through your eyes and more through his eyes!

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Biography Information:
Dominique Henderson is a believer in the one and only Son of God - Jesus Christ.  After being a believer for many years, he didn't begin to realize the purpose God had for him until the age of 30.  He has a passion for fellow musicians and worship leaders that have allowed Satan to distract them from their God-given gifts.  He now lives day by day following the lead of the Holy Spirit--not perfectly but diligently. He enjoys writing and spending time with his wife, Briana, and their three children.
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