Monday, July 31, 2006
It is Not Good that the Man should be Alone
I have mentioned that I have started to read the controversial book, "Getting Serious About Getting Married: Rethinking the Gift of Singleness" by Deborah Maken in a previous post. Perhaps I can share some of my thoughts here as I read through it.
Chapter One deals with "What the Bible says about marriage". There is nothing much contentious here, but it is always good to remind ourselves of why God did create marriage when he could have arranged things differently.
- Marriage reflects God's glory, as the union of male and female and as a reflection of the relationship between the Persons of the Godhead and of Christ and his Church on earth.
- Marriage keeps us from feeling lonely. Even despite the close and unblemished relationship with God that Adam initially had, God was still concerned that Adam needed a helper and a companion on earth.
- Marriage gives meaning to work. Maken says that "God designed work as a way for us to make an inheritance for our children." I'm not sure that I agree that this is the only purpose of work, but it certainly answers my feelings of demotivation when I wonder if "this is it" for the next forty years of my working life. I have a vocation, yet still struggle with my motivation for my career when inside I am burdened with deep desires to marry and raise up a family.
- Marriage was designed for the procreation of children, people in the image of God. Studies now have shown that children do better with parents in a marriage relationship than if they were cohabiting or single. This reinforces to the world that God's plan really is the best.
I really do believe that God does know best and has all his plans "for wholeness and not for evil", plans to give me a future and a hope. But there is another part of me where Satan knows to attack that just wonders if God is hiding some good gift from me - yet it is a gift that I believe he has set a desire for in my heart. One of my deepest desires is to be married and have a family. I feel content now where I am, but the thought of being in this same situation for the next forty years sometimes breaks my heart. So it is a relief to hear from this author that these feelings are not wrong, but in fact reflect God's intended plan for our lives.Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him."