Marriage Day 19: The Blessing of the Reciprocal Marriage

Marriage Day 19: The Blessing of the Reciprocal Marriage

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31-Day Marriage Devotion Resources

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together (1 Corinthians 12:26).

Biff and Mable married 13 years ago. Most of those years were difficult. Mable struggles with insecurity, which has played out in their marriage by her keeping tabs on Biff. He calls her a nag. Her deeper insecurity is born out of something that Biff did not cause, which is why he sees her interrogations and accusations as a burden. Rather than discerning Mable as an opportunity to shepherd her, he responds by drifting farther from her, which puts their marriage in an unresolvable, circular trap.

  1. The more he drifts from her, the more concerned she becomes.
  2. The more concerned she becomes, the more she nags.
  3. The more she nags, the more he drifts from her.

Eventually, Biff committed adultery, and Mable’s fears came to pass. The thing she dreaded—losing Biff—happened. It was a self-fulfilling prophecy. How did they arrive at this place in their marriage? How could they have built their marriage on a better foundation?

What Men Want

To answer these questions, you have to go back to God’s original design for the male and female and how the effects of sin altered His intent. The Lord made Adam for Himself (Genesis 2:7). He created Adam in His image (leader) and gave him things to do (work). From Adam’s perspective, it was a perfect world. He basked in the glory of the Lord and spent his time doing things for the Lord. God intrinsically tied Adam’s identity to two things: leading and doing. Adam led his world and did things in his world. Whenever you degrade a man’s leadership and ability to perform, you destroy the man. Men know it is emasculating not to be able to work and provide for others. Adam was a leading man who worked for the Lord while living in God’s satisfying pleasure. Then God surveyed the scene of Adam’s life and decided he needed to do more than lead by working in the garden. Adam needed someone to complement him—a companion and counterpart. Thus, the Lord made Eve (Genesis 2:18).

What Women Want

Eve was not like Adam. She came from his side, not from the dirt (Genesis 2:7). She looked different and was expected to serve a different role. The Lord did not make Eve for Himself but for Adam (Genesis 2:22-25). When a man receives a gift from the Lord, he is expected to care for it (Ephesians 5:29). It was no longer proper for Adam to think that working in the garden, away from home, was all that mattered. Eve was part of his ever-increasing responsibilities. Adam had to lead and provide for Eve (1 Peter 3:7). There is a vulnerability to a woman that is strikingly different from a man. God made her this way because of what she is called to do: follow, submit, and serve her husband. This begs a paramount question: if you had to follow, submit, and serve someone, what are the necessary assurances you need from the one leading you?

  • Will you love me?
  • Will you protect me?

Put yourself in Eve’s fig-bottom shoes. If you had to hook your wagon to a man, what would you be thinking? “If I have to submit to your leadership and provision, you better love and protect me.”

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Time to Reflect

Spouses live on a continuum, where the husband leads, and the wife follows. Their lives are also circular, where each person is dependent upon the other. The reciprocality and mutual dependence of the two give strength to their one-flesh union.

Practical Suggestion

  1. Husband, what is one way you need to change your leadership and provision for your spouse that will give her assurance of your love and protective care?
  2. Wife, what is one way you can use your words to motivate your husband to be a more effective leader and provider, especially if he is not doing well at this time?

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