What Marriage is Supposed to Look Like
Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 1 Corinthians 11:11-12
As I’ve mentioned, we’re moving and have drawn out the process into a week-long event. Over the last several days, this has had me looking back to previous moves. One move in particular stands out in my memory – because I wasn’t there. In 2014, just before life fell apart due to my addiction, we had sold our house and planned on buying a different one. Then, I lost my job and went to treatment. We suddenly couldn’t afford the new house, but we had to get out of ours. So, while I was in treatment, my poor wife had to move herself and two young children into a family cabin. It’s a painful memory which still causes me shame when I look back on it. Because of my selfish behavior, I wasn’t there.
Still, this week has been busy and every spare moment has been consumed with moving. A few times, I’ve found myself become a little irritable towards my wife. In those moments, I’ve had to remind myself of the past. This move is an opportunity to be there in a way that I wasn’t seven years ago. I’m sober and we have worked hard to rebuild a new life in recovery. Considering my wife’s feelings makes me a better man.
In my crankiness, I look only at myself only. The world isn’t going exactly how I want, and I’m frustrated. In my self-centeredness, I lash out. When however, I look to my wife’s needs, considering how something affects her, it’s far easier to be kind, loving, and helpful.
In today’s passage, Paul described the right relationship between a married man and woman. He said that neither is independent of one another. He’s not describing codependency, but rather, a mutual dependency, in which both partners act for the good of one another. It’s not natural for us – most of us are naturally self-centered – but a healthy relationship, as described by Paul, is two people living for one another’s good, with both living together for God’s will.
As we finished moving yesterday, it just happened to be our anniversary, a fact which we both overlooked until the day arrived. So, yesterday, we celebrated the end of the move and our new life together. Today, and every day, if I want the marriage we’re meant to have, I must look to my wife’s needs before my own. Then, together, we must ask what God wants for us. According to Paul, that’s what marriage is meant to look like.
Author’s Note: I know this is beginning to sound like a broken record, but the blog site had another security event yesterday and I wasn’t able to publish. Hopefully, we’re getting things figured out. Thanks for being patient.