...male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27b
Life, as a dear friend of mine often reminds me, is messy. We are fallen people in a fallen world and, even as Christians, are tempted to worship at the idol of ME.
But God is merciful and one of my many blessings is a wife who loves me, tolerates me (which in many instances is the next best thing to love) and constantly looks to my well-being.
Proverbs 31:10-31 lays out the model for the "excellent wife," the woman who "fears the LORD."
I have been blessed to observe women who attain to this ideal. I have noted, as well, that as difficult as this mark is to achieve, it must be nearly impossible (but Matthew 19:26) without the love and diligent support of a dedicated husband.
As I discussed these thoughts with the afore-mentioned friend, he objected, "But that doesn't guarantee it will happen (to reach the Proverbs 31 goal)."
It's a marathon, of course. But God in His wisdom ordained it to be one man and one woman, for life. And in Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul lays out some fairly detailed instructions for wives and husbands. You may notice that the guys' instructions are twice as long as the gals'.
God in His wisdom has given us another indispensable tool (as I read it). A regular re-reading of the Song of Solomon is essential, it seems to me.
To meditate on the depth of love expressed here between the Bride and the Beloved calls us back to the foundation.
It is the love of Christ for his Bride, his elect, his redeemed. This is the mystery Paul invites us to ponder while holding it up as the ideal for husbands.
We all want a Proverbs 31 woman.
That means we're going to have to be Ephesians 5 men.