Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. (Philippians 2:1-4)
A Great Marriage Plan
When God created man and woman He formed the highest union of His wisdom into the formation of the home. On the sixth day the Lord made man in His own image, separating him from the animals as a creation that would never cease to exist. Nothing is known of the relationship between Adam and Eve during their time in the garden except the knowledge they were both naked and were not ashamed. It must have been a beautiful time for the two of them as they basked in the glory of God and shared in the intimacy of marriage as purposed by the Lord. It was not until sin came into the lives of the first man and woman that everything changed. Immediately upon eating the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve were ashamed and scared. Expelled from the paradise that was their home, the couple found themselves struggling to build a life together. The first year of their life outside of Eden must have been an amazing time as they were the only two people on the whole earth. Their first son, Cain was born and then Abel. Other children would come along as Adam lived to be 930 years old. When did the first man and woman have their first fight? How often did the man and woman fail to understand one another and walk away trying to resolve issues they had no one to talk with about? Adam soon realized that Eve was not like him and she immediately understood how different he was. Sin brought problems. Learning how to resolve those misunderstandings, hurts, slights and neglect would have been daunting. It must have been incredible for the first home to weather those marital challenges.
One of the constants of man’s creation is the intercession of the Lord to reveal His plan for happiness in life. There are no records of long dissertations given by God to Adam and Eve on how to live a happy life. The Lord did reveal Himself to early man in the oral traditions and teachings and like Abram speak directly to the heart of men to guide them. As the word evolved over the eons of time into the printed form we have today, God’s will continues to guide men and women on how to find happiness in marriage. Every solution to the questions of the marital union can be found in the Bible. More often than not these answer come from passages that do not directly speak to the husband and wife but apply in the principles of Christian character. Paul was writing to the saints in Christ Jesus who were in Philippi and the applications of his letter fit well with the marriage plan.
Husbands and wives please the Lord when they are like minded and share the same love. This is basic to the relationship of a man and woman. Having a mind that is on the same page is necessary to bring happiness to the home. Learning how different the species of man and woman was created is the beginning of bringing minds together as one. The symphony of hearts will bring a union of purpose to the relationship. It is not about me – it is not the selfish ‘me-me-me’ view of life demanding the rights of self-interest. Marriage is about one plus one equals one. There will be differences and divergent views. People of God seek to please the Lord in finding a common path of unit in one accord and one mind. The man does not lord over his wife in dominion nor does the wife exercise headship over the man. There are three people in marriage: the husband, the wife and the Lord God. Any marriage that is only made up of only a husband and wife will fail. Unity is brought about by the word of God. Happiness in marriage is not what will make the husband or wife happy. To find the real virtue of joy in the marital bond of unity is finding happiness in what the Lord desires. If a man wants to show love to the wife – please God first. When a woman seeks to please a man – listen to the Lord first.
Humility is the greatest treasure a marriage will have. Nothing should be done through selfish ambition or conceit. There are too many marriages being undermined because someone wants to be the superior self. Husbands must possess a lowly mind that esteems the virtues of his wife above his own. When wives reciprocate with the same spirit of humility they value above themselves the husband. The words of Paul are not suggestions but instructions by the Lord in our treatment of others; how more fitting in the marriage bond. The husband is looking out for the interest of his wife and she is seeking his welfare. Happiness in the marriage bond will only be found when we stop being selfish. Sin will always bring conflict between the man and woman. The only solution is to follow the righteousness of God in the divine plan as He established in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were in paradise when they walked with God. If a man and woman want to find happiness in marriage they must walk with God.