Marriage and Mates

Bible Book: Genesis  2 : 21-24
Subject: Marriage
Series: M&Ms: Sweetening Up Our Family Life

Every home could use some sweetening up, including yours! That’s what this booklet is all about: God taking His word and using it to not only help sweeten up, but to straighten up and strengthen our families.

In the previous chapter, we considered the first M&M: Marriage & Money, where we considered three Bible principles:

*the Principle of OWNERSHIP. That God owns everything making every spending decision a spiritual decision.

*the Principle of STEWARDSHIP. That the question is not, “Lord, how do You want me to spend MY money?” but rather “Lord, how do You want me to spend YOUR money?” Nowhere do you find where God has transferred ownership to you. He owns it all and we are to manage what He has placed in our guardianship.

*the Principle of PARTNERSHIP. That we are in partnership with our Spouse in making and managing money, with the Saints in ministry and missions, and with the Savior to get the gospel out across the streets, the states and seas!

Now in this chapter, we are considering the second M&M: Marriage and Mates. I don’t know a better place to begin than with the first couple and I’m not talking about George and Laura, I’m talking about Adam and Eve.

Turn to the book of beginning, the book of Genesis chapter 2 as we consider the second of four M&M’s:

Marriage & Mates

Genesis 2.21-24

“And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. And Adam said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Now as we consider this second M&M, Marriage & Mates, there are several bible principles that God gives us to help sweeten up our family life.

I. The Principle of COMPLETION.

Verse 24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Now keep in mind what was happening at the time. We read in verse 18, “And the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that man should e alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”

Adam needed a companion, someone he could fellowship with! And how did he become aware of that need? Well, God had told Adam to name the animals. I can see him standing there in the Garden of Eden, looking around, taking in the sights and all of the sudden a tall animal with a long neck came out of the forest. Adam scratches his head and says to himself, “I think I’ll call that animal a giraffe. What else would you name something that looked like that?”

A few minutes later up walks a short, stumpy animal and Adam thinks, “That looks like a hippopotamus to me. That’s a good name for that animal.” Then up walks an alligator, a skunk, a pig and horse, a dog and cat, and so Adam is naming the animals one by one.

But Adam noticed that those animals not only came one by one, they came two by two. He noticed that for Mr. Giraffe was a Mrs. Giraffe. And for Mr. Hippo was a Mrs. Hippo. And suddenly it dawned on Adam, that there was no Mrs. Adam for Mr. Adam. And at that moment, there was born in the heart of Adam a desire for companionship. He then knew something was missing in his life.

The Bible says in Genesis 2.20b, “But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.” And out of God’s grace, He created woman!

Can you imagine what Adam must have thought when he laid eyes on her? I mean, he had been looking at giraffes, hippo’s and alligators! He woke up and there she was! Can’t you hear Adam thinking to himself, “Wow! You talk about Prime Rib!”

Now they were both complete! Adam was not complete without Eve nor was Eve complete without Adam. Adam without Eve was like a violin without a bow, like a sky without a sunset, like the countryside without Kudzu!

That’s what marriage is all about. Marriage is two incomplete people coming together for completion. What makes me complete is my wife Julie. When I’m without her, life doesn’t feel right.

Now let me say to you who are single: don’t think for a second that if you’re not complete without a mate, that you’ve got to go find one fast. There is something worse than being single and that’s being married to the wrong person.

As you seek God, He will direct your steps. He will meet you every need. You continue seeking and serving God. And while you seek and serve Him, trust Him with your future.

So, there is the principle of COMPLETION. But there is a second principle needed to embrace as we consider Marriage & Mates:

II. The Principle of COMPREHENSION.

Here is what God says about Marriage & Mates: Genesis 2.24, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.”

Now here is where the rub comes: we are to leave our parents and be joined together, happily ever after. Right? There were two men talking one day about the marriages and one said to his friend, “I never knew what real happiness was until I got married; and then it was too late.”

A part of the struggle is that men and woman are so different! Generally, when men deal with a problem they begin with their head (just give me the facts). A woman will deal with a problem with their heart.

Men tend to look at the big picture and are goal oriented. That’s why a man will get into the car to drive the family on vacation and he’s not stopping until he gets there! The goal is to get to from Point A to Point B.

You ask a man how his day was and he’ll say something like this: “fine.” But not a woman! She will give you every last detail from what was on the menu at lunch to the color of dress she wore.

I will ask Julie where a certain store is and she may say go down Dallas Highway past the Target store. I’ll ask, “Where is the Target store?” She’ll say, “You drive right past it on the way to the church. And how long have we been living here?” I never see the Target store on the way to church and do you know why? Because my goal is to get to church! That’s all I’m thinking about: getting to the church!

Men and women are so different. Men are initiators and woman are responders. Men say, “I want success.” Women say, “I want security.” We don’t even THINK the same.

Perhaps you’ve heard about the young couple that were sitting on the front porch of the old country home. Down in the valley was the country church and they were having choir practice that night. The sounds from the choir were making their way over the valley to where this couple was sitting on the old porch swing.

Underneath the porch were some crickets chirping. She had on her mind the choir practice and listening to their music. He was thinking about going fishing the next morning. She said, “Isn’t that a beautiful sound?” He smiled and said, “It really is.” She said, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything quit as lovely.” He said, “Yea, me either. Did you know that they make that noise by rubbing their hind legs together?”

It’s just the way men think and the way women think. Now knowing the difference makes what Peter said in 1 Peter 3 such a great challenge. 1 Peter 3.7, “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”

“.. dwell with them with understanding ..” That’s what the bible principle of COMPREHENSION is all about: dwelling with them with understanding. How well do you know your mate? Well, let’s see. How would you answer these questions:

*what are your mates deep fears?

*what has been the hardest experience of your mates life?

*what’s the happiest thing that has ever happened to your

mate?

*what about you does your mate appreciate the most?

*who, of the same sex, does your mate admire the most?

How can you dwell with your mate with understanding if you don’t know what makes them tick?

Dr. Willard Harley in his book, “His Needs Her Needs” outlines the top five needs in marriage for a man and woman. In fact, this is required reading for every couple that asks me to perform their wedding ceremony and here’s why: most couples get married for the wrong reasons.

A man meets woman. He likes her. In fact, he loves her. He looks at her and says, “Now there is a woman who can meet all my needs.” So, he asks her to marry him.

At the same time, a woman meets a man. She likes him. In fact, she loves him. She looks at him and says, “Now there is a man who can meet all my needs.” So, she hopes that he asks her to marry him. So the lovely couple gets married on the basis of selfishness. The man says, “She can meet my needs.” The woman says, “He can meet my needs.” And what you get is a lot of conflict. That’s not God’s plan for marriage.

Now here’s another man. He meets woman. He likes her. He then loves her. He discovers her needs and says, “Now there is a woman whose needs I can meet.” And the woman says, “There’s a man whose needs I can meet.” And they get married. And now their two lives become one for rather than a marriage based on selfishness, it’s based on selflessness. And what a difference it makes.

Now according to Willard Harley, here are the top five needs of a woman in marriage. Men, wake up! Pay attention! I am only going to list them for you. You need to get Willard Harley’s book, “His Needs .. Her Needs” for all of the details. Here they are:

1. Affection.

2. Conversation.

3. Honesty and Openness.

4. Financial Support.

5. Family Commitment.

And ladies, here are the top five needs of a man in marriage.

1. Sexual Fulfillment.

2. Recreational Companionship.

3. An Attractive Spouse.

4. Domestic Support. (an atmosphere of peace and

quiet.)

5. Admiration. Your husband wants you to be his biggest

fan.

If you will make the time to discover the needs of your spouse and to say, “Yes, I will meet those needs,” you’re on your way to living happily ever after. Ruth Graham, wife of Billy Graham said that “Happy marriages are never accidental. They are the result of good hard work.”

Now there is one more bible principle concerning this second M&M: Marriage & Mates that needs to be mentioned. Not only the principle of COMPLETION and COMPREHENSION.

III. The Principle of COMMUNICATION.

Did you know that marriage counselors tell us that in all the problems married people face, that 80% of those problems are rooted in poor communication. Here’s what that says: that says that marriages that are on the rocks, if you trace it back to where the problem began, that 80% of the time that problem is rooted in poor communication.

Proverbs 18.21, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” And many marriages are in trouble because of poor communication. One woman went to see her lawyer and said to him, “My husband wants to divorce me.” The lawyer said, “Why? Does he have any grounds?” She said, “No, but he has a car port.” He said, “No, I don’t mean that .. does he have any grounds?” She said, “Oh yes .. he has about five acres.” He said, “Well .. what seems to be the problem?” She said, “He says we can’t communicate.”

Hey folks, the supreme goal of marriage is to be completely known and still be loved. It’s a part of “dwelling with them with understanding.”

Let me ask you a question about your marriage? Has your marriage grown cold? Sometimes it seems that when our marriages get older, we get colder and we stop talking. And one reason is because men are so goal orientated.

Women sometimes wonder why he doesn’t talk to her like he did when they were dating. He would call her on the phone, then they got married and he suddenly stopped talking. But a woman is security oriented and she craves communication and conversation.

But since he’s achieved marriage, he moves off to another goal. But men, your wife has an ever growing need to be affirmed. Men, make time to talk! Your wife craves communication! It will greatly enhance your marriage!

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” When you take two pieces of paper and glue them together, they are joined. But when you try to separate them, you cannot damage one without damaging the other.

If you damage your mate, you damage yourself. You damage her, you damage you. Do you want to help sweeten up your family? Then be good to yourself by loving your mate.