So I’m wondering this morning….Is the state of marriage in our culture as bad as husbands would lead us to believe? To be sure, there are some wives who act like their husband is similar in nature to one of the great plagues of Egypt. More than likely though it’s the husbands that I’m hearing from. Usually what I hear from the wives are tales of men behaving badly in their relationship. By badly, I don’t even mean cheating. It’s more clueless, insensitive, self-centered, childish (am not, are so, am not….) and well, just generally men-like. I totally understand this, because I am one…a man I mean. All of those adjectives at one time or another can aptly describe me. My goal however is that it wouldn’t also be identified with my relationship to my wife.
I’m reading in Genesis this past week, the early parts with all of the cool creative stuff that God was doing with His creative ability, and I, one more time, read through the activity surrounding the creation of Adam. I’ve read this at least a gazillion (gazillion’s not a real word, is so, is not…) times and it finally hits me. God looks down at His created, walking and breathing lump of clay, He looks around at all of the animals that he’s whipped up, and for the first time, probably ever for Him, He saw something not really all that good. No, He didn’t see their selfishness. He didn’t see the insensitivity. He didn’t even see the childishness (am so, am not, am so….Stop it). What He saw was that it wasn’t good because His created living, breathing lump of clay, did not have a more beautiful, more refined, more cultured lump of clay to live and breathe along side of. All of the other animals did, but not him, and God saw that it was not good.
Now you might say, at this point, nice going, you being a pastor and all and just figuring that out after 20 years of studying the Book. You need to understand though. It became clear as anything, real heart knowledge instead of head knowledge, because I was living in the context of God’s story. Mine intersected with His and the lights really came on for me. I’m in the context because I’ve been alone this weekend…and it was not good. I’m beginning to understand some of the intricacies of His intent during the creation process.
One thing that I know about myself is that, whenever my wife leaves for awhile, I get really miserable. So much so, in fact, that my routine when this happens has become to just distance myself from people and preoccupy myself with work. It’s sometimes dangerous and frantic amounts of work that would not be healthy for anyone for more than a few days here or there. I wonder if that’s how God figured out that it was not good. Was Adam distancing himself from the rest of creation and just frantically gardening for all he was worth. Probably not likely, …whatever. I know that’s what I do and I know that I never understood it until just now. I’m miserable because its not how it was supposed to be. It’s not how I was created to be and I’m not with who I was created to be with. So it is not good. Now I know that this may sound borderline psychotic, stalker, controlling type mentality. Please any liberated female create types who may be reading this, don’t send me notes about oppression and control and all that. I know very well that I need to give her space. Because of the way she’s been created, she has opportunities to go and share with other women and to spend time with other friends that make her who she is. So, yes I can deal with miserable once in awhile. It doesn’t mean I have to like it though.
I have been asked if I think that God creates people to be with certain people. I don’t know why not, He did it once. He certainly has the ability. I’m not sure if it’s specific people in all cases. It is in mine. I am sure that it is specific types of people. It doesn’t mean that we’ll make the right choices. I know from being on one side of many marriage ceremonies and counseling opportunities that we make really bad choices. I didn’t, but many do. I know I didn’t, even after all these years, because I still feel what Adam felt and what God felt when she’s not there for me. Far be it from me to get my theology from Hollywood, but the phrase “You complete me” is as close to God’s intent as it gets.
I know this because I’m there.
That leads me to some conclusions. One of which is that the marriage relationship was designed to complete one another. As I talk with guys in casual conversation, I rarely get that desire from them,…to be completed I mean. Most of it is macho, independent crap about how “the wife” is making me do this or that, or not letting me do this or that. It’s a conversation of burden and woe. You can see the fear in their eyes as they describe the descending of the plague upon their household. It’s all crap, at least most of it I think. If you’re a women reading this and you even remotely share my worldview about how we’re made and all I want to try to explain it to you. I believe that guys like that are probably fighting with their created being. Guys were initially created alone, independent and task oriented. Adam was alone watching the garden and everything in it. He didn’t realize the shortsightedness of the plan. (no offense to the Creator). Some guys struggle with the pull for alone and independent. It’s shortsightedness on their part, but understandable considering their inner wiring. I said understandable, not excusable.
Add to that our culture which tells them constantly how their marital relationship should look to other men that are in their circle, all macho and independent. Add a touch of selfish and a pinch of childish (am not, are so, am not…) and there it is. It’s certainly more complicated than anything Rachel Ray could whip out in 30 minutes.
So here I am. I understand it a bit more. I still don’t like it one bit, but I can do it when I have to, just not for more than a few days at a time. She completes me and I’m tired after a few days of trying to make up for her absence with work and activity. She’s back in 14 hours and then, once again, it will be good.