How does my worldview shape my marriage?
The last few weeks, we have been analyzing worldviews. We have defined a worldview as your set of assumptions which impact the way that you view the very essential questions of life. What is real, is there a God, what are humans, how do we determine right and wrong, what happens when I die, and more. Think of a worldview as the glasses that you put on which determine the way that the world looks.
Today we want to look at the question, “How does my worldview shape my marriage?” I am going to be answering this question from my own personal worldview as a follower of Jesus.
In Genesis 2, we read about the creation of Eve: Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
My wife is uniquely designed for me. By God's grand plan, no one can complement me the way that she does. A husband and wife are meant to go together like peanut butter and jelly, like a shovel and a pale, but so much more. When a couple is married and they merge physically, through sexual intercoure, and spiritually, before God, they become one flesh.
Like gluing two pieces of construction paper together, there is a tangible change when this happens. As you can't tear the two pieces apart without bits of the one being still glued to bits of the other, marriage weaves our souls together in a way that is mysterious and beyond our complete comprehension.
Some of the implications of the Scripture’s teaching is that my wife is my equal, not my inferior. She is made in the image of God, valuable to him and precious to me. Yet, although she is 100% my equal in value, she is uniquely her own and different from me by design. We are equal yet distinct. We complement each other in our roles, the way we love, the way we think and view people and the world.
As one flesh, I am not to lord authority over her but to lovingly serve her and submit to her needs by being willing to sacrifice all things for her. In Ephesians 5, Paul describes Jesus as the model for how a husband should love his wife. Jesus died for his bride (his people) in order to provide for them, bring them into purity, forgive them, and restore relationship. Similarly, a husband, according to my worldview, should do the same for his wife.
Practically, this means that I must view my wife as more important than myself. I must be willing to sacrifice all things for her growth, her benefit, and her needs (not necessarily her wants). If we are arguing, even if I feel justified, I should humble myself to meet her where she is in order to work past our disagreement and move forwards in unity. This is what Jesus did for us. He didn’t look at us, point his finger, and say, “I’m right. You’re wrong!” He said, “You may be wrong, but I will die for you anyway!”
My wife is called to submit to me as well by lovingly following my leadership. Even when I make mistakes, bad decisions, and bring us down a wrong road, she is called to complement me as one flesh. She should encourage me, cheer me on, and not hold my failures over my head like a club to be wielded.
The reality is this: mutual submission to one another - valuing the other as more important than yourself - is the best thing that we can do in our marriages. Our relationship, as one flesh, functions best when we operate through that lens. When both of us sacrificially serve and love one another, our marriage thrives. When we become selfish, it falters.
This is how I strive to love my wife, and how she strives to love me. Why? Because our worldview compels us to do so.