God is such a planner ... the Ultimate Planner. His ways aren’t our ways, though, so don’t even try to figure Him out!
Did you ever wonder why God made a man and a woman? I know, I know ... some of you jokesters out there have plenty of humorous answers, but stop and think about it a moment. God did not give a woman to Adam so he’d have a “live-in slave and sex object” but, rather, Adam was given a woman so he would have someone to whom he could be the “Christ”! (You can’t do that to a cow, hog or frog!)
God made all the earth and the celestial adornments, the plants and animals and all the food and water supplies for them ... THEN he made Adam. He gave Adam dominion over it all. Notice that Eve had not yet been created, so Adam did not have dominion over her ... that is God’s place over Eve. God gave Eve to Adam so Adam could be to her the “word picture” of the Christ yet to come: a protector, an encourager, a teacher, a husband, a leader, a nurturer, a provider ... willing to go to the death that his bride may live, just as Jesus eventually did for His bride ... us, the Body of Christ. (Of course, we know that pretty picture changed with their disobedience. But, thank God, His plan was not altered, because in Jesus we are restored and back on the road to eternal life with God the Father.)
The man is supposed to pour himself out, willingly; empty himself out consistently and crucify his flesh constantly that his wife may flower, grow and bloom to her fullest potential in the Lord. Now that’s a pretty different picture of what many people think a marriage is supposed to be!
Men, a husband like that will have a wife that will want to be with him forever! Your watering and sacrifice to her will reap the same back to you. Stop fighting and start praying that you will be the “Christ” to your wife and the “High Priest” in your home.
Ladies, you’re not off the hook. God has called you as a “helpmate” to your husband. The original meaning of that word implies you are a “lifesaver”. You are to help your husband so that he stays afloat and not sink in the mire of the world. You are to be his encourager, the one who repeatedly tells him of his value and be his prayer warrior. Submission is not to him but to his position before God. And that should keep you on your knees praying that your husband would develop into a kind, wise, just, gentle and benevolent man who exemplifies all the manhood, power and authority of the Spirit of God in Christ.
That is what God intended ... vibrant, adventurous, strong, active, loving men and women who passionately love each other as Christ loves them. All with the intent that they would produce and raise up the next generation of the same. It is not the “master-slave” relationship, as some would think (and as some, unfortunately, have), rather a Christ-like man leading his wife and family through the wilderness of this sin-sick world, bringing life and joy to the journey. What a plan!
How many times do we expect God to do what we are supposed to do? In 2 Peter 1:5-7, we are told, “... applying all diligence, add moral excellence to your faith and in your moral excellence, knowledge; and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, Christian love.”
To your faith, YOU add moral excellence and knowledge and self-control and perseverance and godliness and kindness and Christian love. Now, it is true that we are all weak in these areas because of our sin nature, and we can ask God to help us to overcome in these areas ... but we are responsible to do the overcoming, not God. That is what He means when He tells us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12) ... you have to work out the salvation God has worked in!
You can’t save or sanctify yourself ... uh, uh ... that is God’s job - let Him do that in your heart. BUT, once that is accomplished, YOU must develop the morally-excellent habits; YOU must grow in holy character ... God will not force you; you must do this willingly. The more willing you are, the more you will change and ultimately succeed in the instructions noted in 2 Peter 1:5-7.