ark^^: Good points, all. I know a woman who was raised in a Godly home, and she and her husband actually, seriously, set about from the beginning to have a Godly marriage. They are a great example. They got it right from the start. But I do think that the vast majority of marriages don't have that benefit, and so they have to start where they are.
I'm reading MM's stuff here from the perspective of "it's never too late to start working towards a Godly marriage." With the clearly implied hope that Clark and I will achieve a Godly marriage, and hey, we're young, maybe live 50 or 60 years in that marriage, providing that exact good example you are talking about to our kids and other young 'uns.
Right Java!! Ark, dont go away. Your questions are relevent.
As Java said, it isnt that every marriage is bad. If a husband and wife "get it," and do it right...the point to all of this is that they wont have to go through most of what all of us have. For the rest of us, as java noted, it isnt too late to start!!
Look, if my wife were perfect, I wouldnt see the need for God in my marriage, would I? If I were perfect, then my wife wouldnt need to have Christ in our marriage either. Our need for Him comes when our partner let's us down or isnt up to snuff. And ALL marriages have this to varying degrees.
The sterotypes, while admittedly generalized, have merit in EVERY marriage. There are things that are uniquely feminine, uniquely a woman. And every man has had those times where we are frustrated, or just a little perplexed, at some of those things. Understanding how a woman thinks, how she feels, what motivates her as a woman...is key to understanding our roles as a husband. Same goes for a wife.
Not every woman is as bad as all that. But every woman has attributes that a man must learn to understand. Just like in that study above, I posted about men not listening, and wanting to jump in and solve a problem for them. That is a GREAT example of the differences. We men dont need to hear all of that. We hear the problem and go solve it. Women are a little different from that. While wanting to solve the problem, they want to be able to express. Women dont understand why we dont get that. Well, duuuhhhhh...we are men! Men dont understand why women need all of that. Well, ddduuuhhhh...they are women. Two different beings. And not just with the plumbing.
Ark, you are correct in what you are saying. Our goal is to have that kind of marriage that follows what God has laid down and is an example to our children. it is then that we get that so-called perfect marriage. But even in that marriage, change still needs to take place. Growth, learning, understanding. Sanctification.
And in that sanctification, God has decided that the wife will be sanctified through her husband. So, the changes that God thinks my wife needs, if I am listening to Jesus and I have died for her (a savior), He will let me know what they are and how I am to be involved in helping those changes to come about. But if I do not cooperate, I do not listen...then when those changes dont happen...God holds me responsible!! If I follow His lead, then He takes care of the rest.
As you will see, the wife's role in providing for change in the husband is much different. She is not responsible for that change. But she can be responsible for blocking that change, as you will see in the next three sections.
One note for everyone here...this relationship that God talks about only applies between a husband and a wife. The husband is the head of the wife. The guy down the street isnt. The guy at work that works for you ladies isnt. You are equal to them in every way. But in the family, while you are equal to your husband and are a partner, God has set up a chain of command, as you will see.
Dont run away Ark!! I think you get it. Just dont see this as all negative. As Java said, some of this is for those that have marriages that 180 degrees opposite of what God requires. Some are following His path already, and can use this to make sure that they continue to do so!!
In His arms.