LETTER: Focusing on God brings husbands, wives closer

Feb. 14, 2013 @ 05:00 AM

To the Editor:

I laughed when I saw on TV a life-size teddy bear now available as a gift to a woman from her man on Valentine’s Day. I suppose the bear is symbolic of the security the man hopes the woman feels in their relationship. I wondered what would be the most significant gift that a man could give a woman, not only for one day, but forever? God’s will for them should be considered in answering that question, if their relationship leads to marriage.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”— Genesis 2:24. Since the fall of man described in Genesis 3, it became much more difficult for a man and a woman to become “one” in spirit, but with God’s grace, it can happen if both wife and husband agree in their commitment to God and to one another.

Shouldn’t expressing that desire be the main purpose of the marriage ceremony before God and witnesses? Marriage vows given or received before God, especially in a church, should not be exchanged half-heartedly.

God’s Word in Ephesians 5 commands us to “walk in love.” Wives are to submit to their husbands as to the lord, and husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. This is mutual submission. God’s intent for the marriage relationship is impossible to achieve without the Holy Spirit that he gives to make it work. Paul describes this process a profound mystery, comparing it to Christ and the church. The conclusion he makes to both husband and wife: “However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband” — Ephesians 5:33.

The best illustration I have heard describing this process of becoming one uses a triangle. Picture the man at the left angle and the woman at the right angle. Visualize both moving slowly toward the top of the triangle, which represents God’s will for them. As both the man and the woman focus on their relationship with God (this includes worship, Bible study, prayer, fellowship with believers), they grow closer to him in spirit, and they also simultaneously move closer toward each other — becoming one in Christ. Notice I said “moving slowly toward” — the process takes time, but remember your vows and that “Love is patient …” — 1 Corinthians 13:4.

Robert A. Watson