Encouragement for Today - June 16, 2005


June 16

Encouragement for Today


“The Art of Marrying Up”

Rachel Olsen, Speaker Team Member, ETC Editor



Key Verse:


Ephesians 5:22, “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.” (NIV)





I married a terrific guy.  Rick is full of integrity, a talented musician and an anointed teacher who whole-heartedly empowers me to live out my God-given callings.  He is the better of our two halves - I married up!


Despite the fact that I have such a giving husband, I sometimes forget to show him honor, deference and submission in return, as the Bible commands (Eph 5: 22-23).  I get so busy doing my own thing - and so used to Rick allowing me and helping me do it - that I sometimes start taking him for granted.  I begin demanding my wishes as if they were my rights.  Then I begin ignoring his rights as if they were simply wishes.  I start to think I am the one in charge, or at least that I should be.  Ever do that?


Let’s look and see exactly what was taking place in the Garden when God made man and woman.  Genesis chapter one, verses 26-28, and 31:


Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”  So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them.  Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over every fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. (NIV)


Moving along to Genesis chapter two, verses 18-23, we learn more about the creation of the first couple:


And the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”  Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them.  And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.  So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field.  But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.  And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place.  Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.  And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man.” (NIV)


Friends, let’s be honest a minute and admit that we, as women, do sometimes interpret these passages in Genesis chapters 1 and 2 in this way:


God decided to make someone like Him to be in charge of the Earth.  So He took some dirt and He made man.  Then He examined His creation and thought, “Uh oh - something went seriously awry here!”  So He called out to Word (Jesus’ name before He was made flesh) and said, "Hey Word, what do you make of this mess?"  And Word responded, "Well, I got wisdom enough to know that it isn’t good and we’re going to have to compensate for it somehow." 


So God then got a great idea to make another human, only without all the flaws of His prototype.  God declared, “It is not good for this man to do anything by himself.  He clearly needs someone to watch over him so I will make a woman to rescue and govern him.”  Then God put Adam out cold, because men can’t handle the pain of birthing another person out of their body the way women can, and He took one of Adam’s ribs.  In doing so, God was using what little bit of good that was in the dirt-made creation to begin his new and improved model, Eve.


Yes, there are days when we behave as if this were the correct interpretation of the text in Genesis.  For some, those days may have stretched into weeks, months or years.  I am reminded of Proverbs 14:12 which says there is a way that seems right to a [wo]man, but in the end it leads to destruction. 


Assuming that it is our job to fix, redeem or rule our husbands is a mistake that will surely bring devastation to our marriage.  Believe me; I know from experience, nothing will take the “Charming” out of your prince’s title faster. 


In contrast, if we’ll choose to treat our husbands with respect and to defer to his leadership, we’ll likely find he gives us good reason to.  Our marriages will begin to flourish and we’ll each be able to exclaim: “We married up!”


My Prayer for Today: 


Father God, thank you for my earthly husband. Help me to treat him as respectfully and lovingly as I would treat my heavenly husband, Jesus.  In His name I pray.



Application Steps: 


Show and tell your husband that you respect him today.  Find something noteworthy about him or his actions and compliment him.  Ask him how you can best serve him today.



Reflection Points: 

Do you feel in your heart that you regularly give your husband ample respect?  Would he agree with you?


Do you ever feel it is your job to “take your husband down a notch” so he won’t get too arrogant?


Do you think your husband would be unable to run his own life in your absence?  Do you think he would agree with you on that?  Do you think God would agree with you on that?



Power Verses: 


Genesis 2:20-22, “So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.” (NIV)


Genesis 2:24, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (NIV)


1 Corinthians 11:3, “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.” (NIV)


1 Peter 3:1, “Wives, in the same way be submissive to your husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives.” (NIV)



Additional Resources:


Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, by Sharon Jaynes



Capture His Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst


Originally published Thursday, 16 June 2005.