God designed marriage to heal us. To some people, this may sound like an oxymoron, a self-contradictory statement. We know that marriage has damaged so many people so deeply. For them, a previous marriage may have been destructive. They may have grown up in an environment marked by a toxic relationship.
But marriage was intended to be a healing journey for men and women. Here are four truths I want you to understand about this:
1⃣ First, God created marriage. It was not created by the government or by lawyers. It was created by God Himself, as described in the first chapter of Genesis.
2⃣ Second, God created marriage to bless us. He created it so Adam and Eve would not be alone, and He created it in the Garden of Eden. Do you know the name “Eden” means pleasure and delight? It was a paradise. God gave it to Adam and Eve to give them pleasure and delight.
3⃣ Third, rebellion to God’s Word caused the failure of the first marriage and the destruction of society. In the form of the serpent, the devil lied to Adam and Eve. He told them the Word of God wasn’t true, and that rebelling against it would bring no consequences.
Obviously this isn’t true: Look at American society today. When you abandon the Word of God, nothing works.
4⃣ Finally, returning to God’s Word restores us to God’s plan for marriage. Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent…his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.” The Word of God heals our marriages and heals our families in the way God designed.
Bad marriages are not God’s fault. The decline of marriage in our culture is not God’s fault, but because we have rejected the teachings of the Bible.
So what does it mean when I say God designed marriage to heal us? Consider my relationship with Karen. God created us for each other. I’m the right man for Karen and she’s the right woman for me. But that doesn’t mean we are the same.
In fact, we’re very different. We argued almost all the time early in our marriage, and it almost drove us to divorce. My Strengths Based Marriage co-author Allan Kelsey evaluated the strengths and weaknesses in our marriage. He said, “I don’t know that I’ve ever tested two people who are more opposite than you and Karen.”
My number-one strength is Achiever. I get things done. But my lowest-rated strength is Empathy. Feeling other people’s pain and being in touch with the emotions around me is not something that comes naturally.
Can you guess the results of Karen’s test? Her top strength was Empathy. Her lowest was Achiever. We are exact opposites. Early in our marriage, it was hard for me to understand Karen. She felt too much, and I shamed her for it. We rejected and hurt each other.
Then, as our marriage matured, we began to see how much we needed each other. I needed Karen to help me tap into my emotions and show empathy. She needed me as an Achiever to balance out the places she was weak. Healing takes place when we start celebrating our differences rather than rejecting them.
Today, Karen and I have become a great team. A team isn’t made up of people who do the same things. There’s only one person who plays each position. You need every position filled to make a successful team.
I don’t need someone just like me. I need someone who supplies the things I lack. I need someone who heals me. That’s how God designed marriage: to complete us and to heal us.
Jimmy Evans // Marriage Today