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The Team Marriage
By David Eckman, Ph.D.
Senior Lecturer, Kesed Seminars
-- Genesis 1 told us that men and women are made in God's image.
Genesis 2 teaches us the differences between the two. Adam was focused
on purposes, and Eve was focused on dealing with Adam's loneliness; she
was focused on relationships. Together they are intended to function well.
Men and women are like our two hands. Hands have the same elements but
are complementary, or mirror images, so that one hand is focused to the
right and the other is focused to the left. The hands have the same number
of fingers and each has a thumb. In the same way, a husband and wife both
have the same set of abilities, but those abilities are worked out differently.
The wife's abilities work through the focus of relationships, and the
man's abilities work through the focus of purpose and goals. Certainly,
many women are more goal-oriented than some men; while some men are more
relational than some women. But on the average women become preoccupied
with relationships and men become preoccupied with purposes.
Just like the hands, in that one hand is usually stronger than the other,
so is a man stronger, and the Bible says that a woman is to be honored because
she is the weaker vessel. "You husbands also live with your wives in an understanding
way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman, and grant her honor as
a fellow and equal heir of the grace of live, that your prayers should not
be hindered" (1 Peter 3:7). In Peter's time, it was not unusual for a woman
to have ten children and have half of them die young. Under such conditions,
Peter told men to sympathetically honor their wives. As each takes the differences
into account, they make a great team. God intends that men and women should
be an interdependent team.
The book of Genesis says that Adam and Eve are one flesh and that is why
a man should abandon father and mother and cleave to his wife (Genesis 2:24).
This comment is very similar to the statement that the Lord is one in Deuteronomy.
"Hear, O Israel, the Lord is one, and since that is so, you shall love the
Lord with your whole heart" (Deuteronomy 6:4-5). As God's unity is deep, so
should be the unity of a married couple. Two ways of deepening that unity
are to cut off dependency on the parents and to cleave to each other in loyalty.
"Cleave" is always used in the Old Testament as cleaving loyally. Loyal interdependency
is the goal!
Nothing can be closer than the relationship of a husband and a wife. In unity
they are one flesh in a similar way that God is one. Nothing should divide
them. But between the two of them, they bring significant differences. Those
differences God has created, and they should be used for each other's benefit.
David Eckman is the co-founder and senior lecturer for Kesed Seminars, a
non-profit organization dedicated to introducing people to Gods loyal love.
The organization name, Kesed, comes from the Hebrew word for loyal love. Kesed
Seminars is a seminar and training team that works with Campus Crusade, churches,
denominations, schools, and other parachurch organizations to bring spiritual
transformation to their constituencies. Dr. Eckman and his wife, Carol, have
been married for 30 years and have two children.
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