For those who may not be reading with us, this post still has some great thoughts in it for you. So, feel free to keep reading. For those who are reading with us, we are now 1/2 way through “The Meaning of Marriage.” Generally speaking, most people are able to get through the first 1/2 of a book or a bible study. But then something happens. Books, studies, etc…they start to get set aside for other things deemed more important. We’d like to encourage you at this time to not allow this to happen. Chapter 4 is an excellent chapter, and this message by Mark Driscoll is a great message all couples should listen to and discuss with one another. With that said, let’s dive into some thoughts on Chapter 4 from “The Meaning of Marriage”.
Have you ever noticed that both men and women seem to be wired for relationships? It’s true, people naturally desire to be in community with others. Well, the Keller’s argue that this is a direct result of humans being created in the image of God. As the Trinity is in constant community with one another, so we are designed to be in community with others.
This is seen in Genesis 2. As you read through the creation account, you constantly see the phrase, “…and it was good…and it was good…and it was good…and it was good.” But then something happens, “It is NOT good.” What was it that was not good? It was not good for Adam to be alone. He needed somebody else. He needed a companion. He needed a friend. God said, “I will give you a helper.” The Hebrew term here for helper, ezer, means helper-friend. It doesn’t mean secretary or assistant. In fact, it’s a term most often used as God as Israel’s helper or strength throughout the Old Testament. Just as God was seen a friend and husband to Israel, so Adam and Eve’s marriage was for friendship and companionship. Indeed, your spouse, your lover, is to be your best friend. Even the woman in the Song of Songs states:
“His mouth is sweetness.
He is absolutely desirable.
This is my love, and this is my friend,
young women of Jerusalem.”
From here, the Keller’s also talk about what it means to fall in love:
“It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, ‘I see who God is making you, and it excites me!”
This ought to change how a couple looks at their marriage. Yes, they are to be loving toward one another. Yes, they are to enjoy one another’s company. Yes, they are to enjoy their sexual relationship. But most of all, they are to be friends who constantly encourage one another to become the person God has created them to be.
For those who may be reading this who are not participating in our Meaning of Marriage study, we have created an “On Your Own” section for each couple to complete each week. We’d like to encourage you to listen to the Mark Driscoll message we linked above, and then go through this activity with your spouse:
On Your Own:
Take the opportunity to ask your spouse a simple, yet very difficult question: “How good of a friend have I been to you?” Give them full permission to speak openly and honestly. Then, follow-up with, “How can I be a better friend?”
As your spouse asks you this question, remember to focus on the importance of holiness within your marriage. As a friend, your desire is for your spouse to help you become a more godly person, and your desire is to see this in them as well. Talk with your spouse about friendship and holiness, and how you can work together to improve in both.
What are your thoughts on the Keller’s statement about what it means to fall in love?
In what ways is your spouse your best friend?
What, specifically, do you and your spouse do to encourage one another to be holy?