Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Ready Hand

If we look at the story of man’s creating in Genesis one and two, we see a story that may seem a bit confusing. First of all, there seems to be two different accountings of God creating man, what appears briefly in chapter one and the more detailed account in chapter two. However, these are actually two different parts of the same story. In the first chapter, God created man’s spirit; and in the second chapter, he created man’s body, “breathing” the spirit he had created in chapter one, into the body he created in chapter two.

That’s not the only confusing thing about this story however. When God first created man, he was one. Then God divided man into two parts, making one male and the other female. Then (and this is the confusing part), He tells them to become one flesh again. If He wanted them to be one, why didn’t he leave them as one?

Okay, we know that God doesn’t make mistakes, so there has to be a purpose for this; and in fact, there is. The purpose is to multiply man’s ability. It says in Deuteronomy 32: 30, “How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight…” Look at that. There’s multiplication of ability when two work together.

One of the great benefits of marriage is our ability to multiply our ability by working together. There’s a word for this, it’s “synergy.” Dictionary.com defines synergy as “the interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements.”

While there are many reasons for marriage, one root reason is the ability for us to accomplish more, when we work together. Each contributes their part, the part that they are uniquely created to do, and together we all receive more. That’s the way it’s supposed to work.

There’s just one little problem with this plan. It’s not God’s problem; nor is it a mistake that He made. The problem is that we tend to get in our own way; preventing ourselves from creating that synergy. Instead of helping each other along, each contributing our unique part to the relationship, we focus on what we can get from the other person. As long as we do that, we aren’t able to reach our full potential as a couple.

Every skill, ability and bit of knowledge you possess is something that your wife needs. It may not be obvious exactly how she needs it, but that doesn’t take anything away from the fact that she needs it. The trick is to figure out how those abilities can help her. Likewise, every skill, ability and bit of knowledge that she has is something you need; even when you don’t want it.

Ideally, we’d all understand this on an instinctive level and just flow with it. But, as I already mentioned, we get in our own way. More than anything, we get in our own way by our pride and our self-centeredness. As long as we let those two things rear their ugly heads up within us, we can’t be the people that God wants us to be.

Okay, so how do we start to break out of this problem? The first step is to make yourself available to help your wife, when she needs you and how she needs you. That may mean something as simple as taking out the trash or lifting a heavy box. It may mean sitting there and listening to her recount all the disasters of the day. It may mean just holding her when she needs a hug. It may mean solving a problem for her. It really doesn’t matter what it is; what matters is if you’re willing to be the person that she needs in her life.

Is this romantic? Well, maybe not in the traditional sense of the word. But, it’s romantic in the sense of drawing the two of you closer; making you more into one flesh. Isn’t that what romance is for? 

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