My wife, Shawn, has horrible eyesight. It is so bad that without her glasses or contacts, she can't see much beyond about 5 feet in front of her. But if she puts on her glasses, things that were once blurry and unrecognizable now become clear.
How do you see your spouse? Not...what does their hair look like today or does their outfit match, but how do you really see them?
It's funny how our view of our spouse seems to change. When we were dating, we saw all the good things and the potential in them. Many of us saw them with “rose-colored glasses”. But now that we're a few years down the road from “I Do”, our view of them has changed. Those little things we used to think were so cute now irritate us. Those things we overlooked in dating are a constant source of conflict between us.
I believe the way we view our spouse can make or break our marriage relationship. Just as my wife's glasses change her view of everything she sees, having the right perspective of our spouse can radically change our marriage and how we relate to one another.
The Bible teaches us a core lesson in how we see our spouse in Genesis, chapter 2.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a helper fit for him. Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. And the Lord 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," (Gen. 2:19-23)
This part of chapter 2 challenges us to do what Adam did: To receive our spouse as a gift from God just as he chose to receive Eve as God's gift to him. Here is what author, Robert E Smith, says related to this:
I imagine the first time Adam cast his eyes in the direction of his wife, he nearly collapsed as his knees buckled beneath him. He had been into animal husbandry, caring for them and naming them. He had literally studied them and rightfully came to the conclusion that there was not a companion suitable for him.
Can't you just see his jaw drop and his eyes pop? There she is, Eve - his mate, one created just for him. He saw the shape and dimensions and that she was mankind! I imagine every nuance of Adam's desire was embodied in this one woman. The way she moved was a thing of his dreams. She moved catlike - but better. Majestic like a lioness - but better. The flow of her hair in the wind and the sound of her voice like music to him. God knowing him, knew that he would instantly fall in love with her.
Yet God wanting the man to know that love is a decision and just not a hormonal jolt, gave him some objectivity. One moment to think about how she would talk, how he would care for her, and how she could care about him. When he said the Hebrew equivalent to "hello," and talked to her, she had a mind. She was not an empty-headed, know-nothing. God didn't create her with no memory, an empty slate for a mind that Adam would have to fill from his short existence on earth. As he was, she also was, created with God-given knowledge from which to make decisions. She couldn't help but fall head-over-heals for him as well.
The symbolism was all encompassing. God didn't say, "Here is your wife. Put a ring on her finger and make her a promise to always love her." Instead, He literally made them a matched set. He took a rib from the man, a piece of his flesh, and starting from this very significant piece of man, He built a woman. This was a thinking act. Adam had to think, why a rib? I believe that his side had a scar on it and a feeling of his rib gone. Adam had these things on his mind as he talked to Eve and realized how much a part of him she was. They had knowledge in common implanted from God Himself. They shared a commonality of mind and body. The foregone conclusion is that Adam would love her. And he did.
I was just thanking Jesus the other day for the way He knows me so well. He cares about my desires. He knows my tastes better than I do and cares about the little things. My wife is one of the best examples of how the Lord supplies the desires of my heart. She was created just for me. Jesus created Eve for Adam using His omniscience. My wife was so created for me, and by His omniscience just as uniquely. You may think that it is just happenstance, coincidence, that husbands and wives find each other and I would have to disagree with you.
My wife complements me. Where I am weak or incompetent or unskilled, she excels. For example, I hate numbers and math, and money because of numbers and math. She loves to manipulate finances and is very good at it. She gives to the Lord willingly out of a loving heart.
In every major area where I need assistance, God has given me someone that not only excels in the area I am lacking, but she loves to do it. God also cares about the minor things, the small desires that I could get used to living without, because it is not a necessity, God still loved and understood me enough to give them. Little things like attraction factors and excitement factors that I only realized after I met her how very exciting those things were to me. The way she holds her hands when she eats or the sway of her form as she walks by my side or the way she will fix a strand of hair that is rebelliously in her way.
Husbands, love your wives. They are a gift created just for you. Study her as Adam did his wife. You will see the attributes that God put there with you in mind. Husbands, pray that God grants you insight into the wisdom He used in creating your wife for your marriage. And love her forever. (1)
I love what Robert shared and the way he explained it. His wife, just like Eve, was divinely made just for him. When the Lord planned for them to be husband and wife, He knew exactly how they were designed by Him to complement one another.
I urge you to take a moment and go back and read Genesis 2:19-23 in the section above. Ask the Lord to speak to you about His gift of your spouse – the one He made specifically for you. Please take a minute to do that now and then come back to read the final few paragraphs.
In this passage, God lets us see a cornerstone principle for marriage: We must choose, as Adam did, to receive our spouse as God's perfect provision for us. In order to do this, we must focus on God's character and His goodness in providing our spouse. If we keep our focus on God and His character and goodness, we can overcome the temptation to NOT receive our spouse based on their past or present performance. (2)
In addition, to focusing on God's character and goodness in receiving my spouse, I must also never forget that I am accepted by the Father, because of Jesus Christ. “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. (Ephesians 1:4-6). My acceptance by God is founded solely on the work of the cross, totally apart from my performance (3). So I must keep God's acceptance of me in mind as I look to receive my spouse as well, apart from their performance.
So here's the question for me and for you today: Will I choose today to receive my spouse as God's perfect provision for me? The prayer below may help us take a step of faith in that direction:
Lord, help me to see my spouse as You see them. Help me to trust You as the One who has provided Your perfect provision for my marriage, not based on their performance but based on Your character. I know I cannot do this on my own. Give me supernatural trust as I see with eyes of faith what You see. By faith, I choose to receive my spouse as Your perfect provision for me. Help me to live that out day to day with my mate. In the Name of Jesus. Amen.
References for Sharing Above:
(1) Robert E. Smith – Link: https://hubpages.com/relationships/My-Wife---A-Gift-From-God
(2) FamilyLife Weekend to Remember: Receiving your spouse as a gift from God.
(3) Bible.org Website: https://bible.org/seriespage/3-acceptance
AUTHOR: Glen Solberg is a man who is passionate about marriage - his own and the marriages of those around him! He and his wife, Shawn, have been married since 1992 and have been investing in the marriages of others full-time since 2003. You can find out more by going to the About Page.
Written by Glen Solberg, Marriage Revolution, 2018. All Rights Reserved. If you have questions or suggestions, you can connect with us via our Contact Us page.