The most common misperception in all humanity today on the subject of marriage is that it is a religious invention. Nothing could be more wrong and unproven in a very literal sense. We can deliberately pretend that indelibles in purity of human courtship and marriage do not exist, and so behave like a pack of canines; we can Hollywood it like laughing Hyenas, but in the end the obvious always bites the blood from us.
Even evolutionists love the standard cartoon of a gruff, club-wielding caveman dragging a smiling female by the hair to his cave. But evolutionists seem oblivious to the natural order depicted in their own picture: We never see a gruff cave WOMAN dragging a smiling caveman. Nor do we see her with a cave-harem of meek, subdued cavemen. Such a depiction would be seen as ridiculous and not even comical simply because everyone just naturally knows perfectly well that such nonsense does not even fit our inborn human nature. It isn’t who we are nor even what we physically look like.
Even the hippies made the startling (to them) discovery the hard way that communal living and mate swapping is a shortcut to the death of what they were supposed to be about to begin with—PEACE! When the hippies finally matured (at around 35 or 40 years old) they rejoined the rest of us, coupled off, got jobs, married, and raised children. Oddly, though, Hollywood missed that news and went about bathing the kids in the slop bucket. They grew up to vote that way.
Out of that bounded another generation who somehow got crossed up on how to identify the sexes, although even the obvious will knock you down! These all set their sights on Hollywood, the major networks, the halls of congress and, of course, the public schools. These also grew up to vote. With that it was only a short distance to arming women with hefty billyclubs and men with powderpuffs. All such fantasies blinded them to the real world where men who lose their dignity and honor shoot such confused victims, rape women by the multitudes, take them hostage and enslave them for life. Friends, there is a real difference between men and women and we’d better never forget it. That fact of life is not about to change while we have breath.
So why does a guy think his chosen gal is worth fighting for? Why will a woman fight like a tigress for her chosen guy? Where did we come up with such natures, anyhow? What, exactly, is in hormone juice that lights up eyes for the OPPOSITE sex?
Towering over these questions is a mountain of answer (one big answer). Here’s a question for all of us: Why is the Book of Genesis the ONLY ancient record of human beginnings that matches up perfectly with who we actually and literally are today? It is truly the only mirror of the past we can look into and see our spitting image! It is telling us, “Honey, THIS is who you are, can’t you see that?” The smart thing for us to do would be to simply accept it and get back to true nature.
So here’s what all of this means: Love, marriage, and family predates Judaism, Christianity, and all the rest by thousands of years! We are all in the image of Genesis no matter what we try to make ourselves believe to the contrary, and nature itself always drives us back to it. If that were not true the human race would have drowned long ago in a tsunami of utter confusion. When this current age comes to the end of our freakish notions, out of that cloud of collapse will emerge those few who held onto the notion that Genesis fits us exactly as plainly described.
An extension of that logic would also tell us that if Genesis is us, we might also consider the whole volume which Genesis only begins. It gets far more specific before the last chapter. Plenty, in fact, to provide the criteria for the choosing of a mate for life. Here are a few things it makes indelibly clear for all humanity:
1. One must completely disengage the mind from any notion that the proposed marriage will be on a trial basis. Such a position has a name: Cowardice. You cannot fly a combat aircraft successfully with one hand on the ejection handle. If you blow the canopy the first time a bullet tears through your wing, you’re better off on the ground where you belong. Marriage is not a trip to heaven, but a new arena of life where one continues to fight for victory.
2. Settle it in your mind now that nobody is perfect. Yes, one can think that guy or gal is perfect during courtship; in fact; a couple can date so long they think they know each other like a proverbial book, only to be convinced during that first week of marriage that they were reading the wrong book! Adjusting to the new life of “One flesh” (Gen.2:24) can be the biggest hurdle one has to leap since birth! Why? Because both persons MUST CHANGE to make the marriage work. It will be in deep water immediately if either party fails to change in order to become one with their mate. Change is an absolute requirement, and the quicker the change, the smoother the transition. By her created nature and purpose, the woman finds this easier than the man because the man’s nature is to LEAD his family. However, the man must deliberately by design make his chosen woman part of his flesh by providing for what she needs in him. That is, consolation, security, assurance, affection, and other things a man was not accustomed to giving in his former aggressive single lifestyle. Sadly, on this point most marriages enter a battle of the sexes. Here is where they will make or break their marriage. Stubbornness in changing is usually the backbreaker—and heartbreaker. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases of marriage breakup, it is the man who refuses to change, either altogether or not enough. Disenchanted, the woman is finally driven to seek elsewhere for her natural needs, realized only in becoming one flesh with a man. There is no shortage.
3. One should seek diligently to understand this person one thinks to mate with for life. Unfortunately, the nature of courtship is the art of storefront advertising—best behavior, best manners, best perfume/lotion, best clothes, best places for a date, best everything. What’s the shortcut to the real person? There is one surefire way to find out what it’s really like in the store: Stop looking at the display and just walk into the store. Look behind counters, in closets, back rooms, etc. That’s where the truth lies. What you see there is what you’re going to get. The big sign in big letters on the front of the store reads “FAMILY!” That’s right, simply observe carefully his or her family. THAT, friends, is who this person really is inside. Even if they are non-Christian but you are a Christian, you must remember: He or she was raised from the cradle by those parents. They are the ones who built the brain wrinkles in their gray matter to think and make value judgments. There before you is a glaring indication of lifestyle, values, philosophies, talents, spiritual fortitude, responsibilities, reliability, keeping confidence, eating habits, TV watching, courtesies, prayer habits, games they play, love or disdain for animals, education, and much more. Each trait is what is apt to be transferred into your new home unless they are dealt with by both of you. It pays to be very, very observant here. Look especially hard at the parents and their character traits. Be very mindful of what you are learning about this family, so when you do marry that guy or gal you will have your eyes open. Surprise is what you are trying to avoid.
There is much more to choosing a mate for life than these brief words if one is to invest an entire life with them, but I will include one last vital point:
4. The Genesis ORDER AND PRIORITIES must be embraced by both marriage partners simply because of the overwhelming physical evidence today of who we all really are. Choosing a mate in a lifetime commitment absolutely requires it. One can marry otherwise, but the odds are sky high that it will not be for life. Getting married for marriage sake just because youthful hormones are running at peak is saturated with the volatile ingredients of unhappiness for everyone, especially the offspring.
So here is what is meant by “Order and Priorities:” Friends, the Genesis record tells us with crystal clarity that the man was created first. He was made from the earth and then given the breath of life (Gen. 1:27,28: 2:19-24). So there stood the first man, fully equipped in every respect for the purposes before him, including the yet missing “Help meet,” or companion and assistant suitable to the purpose. The man was to “dress” and to “keep” the Garden of Eden, for which God gave him the design of physical and mental strength to subdue and dominate what God created. Today man’s design is still there unchanged from the Genesis model. As to the woman, we see that God did not create her from the dust, but from a piece of what He had already created—the man. So there she stood, designed in every respect to fit the man perfectly, including her beauty, her ability to conceive offspring, including the design to give them birth and suckle. So today there they both still stand exactly as described in the Genesis model in every way.
That design, with its order and priorities, is not obsolete. It is still who we are. It is still a requirement for lifelong marital happiness, regardless of our notions to the contrary. All of the balance of Scripture which treats on the subject of marriage is built on that one model. All the answers for marital happiness are there in detail, waiting for those who seek answers to what troubles their marriage. But most importantly to our subject, these are the most vital ingredients we must consider BEFORE marriage if we are going to find a mate for life. It all depends on just how serious we are about the subject of marital happiness. Hormones holding the reins of the brain, and not the opposite, is not being serious, but selfish.
We should make a final observation: Although many remain celibate for life, and although Scripture speaks of some who did, the Genesis model tells us plainly that we are literally DESIGNED for courting the opposite sex, marriage, and propagating children for future humanity. That being true, life without it will leave us unfulfilled before our Creator who made us thus. This is why the blossoming youth are driven inwardly to the opposite sex—to fulfill the mandate to “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Gen. 1:28). It therefore behooves us while we are young to think on this vital ingredient to happiness and fulfillment, to diligently seek it, to make it a priority, and so fulfill our Divine purpose. It is a mistake to passively wait for it, for like all things in life, they come through our God-given design of WILLFUL PURSUIT. And God designs, yes, but as the Genesis model sharply mandates, WE must fulfill.