Without marriage and covenant, the image of God in human beings collapse. A person is only fully whole when he or she has the input of both a father and mother. In the same way, the church is not a true testimony to God unless both males and females are active in life-giving relationship together. To silence the female is to silence God. On the other hand, a predominantly female church in which the males have more “manly” things to do also falls short of God’s glory. Male and female in relationship, covenant, marriage and mutual respect, reveals God’s reality.
Yet there is a catch. For male and female to dwell together in harmony is almost impossible. Each sex is wired different with unique desires, aspirations and perspectives. The tension between male and female have been experienced throughout history. Is there any solution?
The world has proposed that through learning one another’s differences and practicing communication (as well as getting counselling!) we can live in harmony. But is this the full story? Never before has there been so much marriage counselling and never before has there been so much divorce. Though the world’s proposals may have some validity, marriage is bound to fail, or at least be incomplete, without the cross. It is only the death and resurrection of Christ that can make us one. It is only as we die to ourselves with Christ and participate in the Spirit’s resurrection life that we can live in community. God has given us a daily witness of community through the family. Our communities and churches cannot dwell together in unity without the death of the male as well as the female preferences.
It is through marriage that we learn to live in covenant and it is impossible to live in covenant without Christ and the cross. In covenant we die daily. Family life is meant to be a reflection on the eternal Family of God. It is a relationship of giving and receiving, serving and sacrificing, enjoying and celebrating. It is a relationship that requires us to be like the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. At times we are giving, at other times we are receiving and sometimes we are aiding. Sometimes we sacrifice, at other times we are sacrificed, and still at times we are doing both.
Prayer: Father, help me to live in covenant relationship with you and my spouse. Help me to die to myself so that you can live through me, in Jesus’ name.