Summary: Just how important is Dad for "the home" anyway?

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May 1991

I agree with the tailor who waited on the young couple who were picking out the wedding tuxedos. They had widely different ideas about color, style and prices. Naturally, they were in the store a long time. Finally the young lady said apologetically, that she was sorry they were taking such a long time. The tailor smiled and said, "Not at all, my dear; I believe that every bride has the right to be well groomed."

That may be more or less like Sunday School, when the 3rd grade teacher asked her class what Jesus had to say about marriage in the Bible. One little fella offered, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

"To have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness, and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part." The words are simple. But sometime after the wedding ceremony ends, and the music from the reception dies down, there comes a time (and times) in every marriage when the words are no longer simple.

Any relationship will be tested at some point. Salmon return to their spawning grounds, and must swim upstream. Birds fly high, but run into gusting winds that threaten. Governments have their inaugurations, but someday the bills come due. And human relationships, marriage in particular, have their own brand of testing.

And it is no secret that many marriages today do not stand the testing. Even though many marriages end in divorce, perhaps even more stay together as only "enduring" life under the same roof. They’re called "married singles". They live in tension, hostility and strife. He goes his way, she does her thing. When decisions must be made there is civil survival at best, and sometimes just survival, in the shouting and anger. Not a pretty picture!

It is not much wonder that current generations have tried to "do-away" with the pain of marriage by living together. But most couples that try that find it totally unsatisfying, and seldom leading to a more permanent arrangement.

What kind of marriage works? IS there a marriage that works? For the answer we turn to the Bible. We find that marriage was instituted by God in Genesis. The Lord made the woman from man, brought her to him, and told Adam, "This is the answer to your problems, boy! You were incomplete alone. Now you have someone to correspond to your own soul." And the scriptures say that they were naked and unashamed. There’s more to that than meets the "eye". They were more than just unclothed; they were totally unguarded in their RELATIONSHIP! There was nothing hidden from each other. Complete openness.

Keith Miller in "The Taste of New Wine", calls it the "soul of a marriage". It is that place of understood silent glances and subtle angry looks that exist between husband and wife. It is the sharing of lives that Genesis calls "leave" and "cleave". Miller says, "The soul of a marriage can be a trysting place where two people can come together quietly from the struggles of the world and feel safe, accepted and loved...or it can be a battle ground where two egos are locked in a lifelong struggle for supremacy..."

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