KEY THOT: Woman was made out of man to be his “helpmate”. The Hebrew word for “helper” is derived from the verb azar which means to “help, assist and aid.” Woman was a gift to the man to be more than just a companion but to assist and aid him to carry out his responsibilities as father in the family and also as member of the community and church. However, for this partnership to work, the man must be fully committed to this relationship: God calls the man to “leave” father and mother emotionally and physically to “hold fast” to his wife, to become “one flesh.” We are told God created man “in his own image” and this image is reflected in both the masculine and feminine attributes: “male and female he created them” (Gen. 1:27). Note therefore that God’s image is not reflected in the man alone, nor in the woman apart from the man. Instead the divine image is reflected in the totality of the male/female union. So, both masculine and feminine characteristics are derived from God’s own attributes. Alone, they reflect only half of his glory; but together, in “one flesh” they reveal the full glory of God.
Beside the usual understanding of marriage as for companion and procreation, there is an added purpose of marriage—namely to reflect God’s glory through the “one flesh” union. This has often been neglected or not taught in churches, making the marriage a very self-centred enterprise. If the third purpose of marriage—to reflect the fullness of God’s image—is emphasized, then marriage is not just about us, but about God. Its original purpose is to reveal God to the world in the one-flesh union. Note that God’s image is not singular but plural, for it says in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” This means that our family dynamics must also reflect the inner dynamics of the Godhead, marked by love, unity and intimacy. And when the children appear in the marriage, the trinity is complete: father, mother and child, reflecting the full glory of Father, Spirit and Son.
God’s original design for marriage is to reveal God to the rest of creation, especially to demonstrate the inner dynamics of the Trinity: the mutuality and love within the Godhead of Father, Son and Spirit. Through the husband-wife-child dynamics, we are to reveal the inner dynamics of love, mutuality and intimacy within the Godhead. That is why, the family is the best place to learn discipleship, for the goal of discipleship is to be God-like—or godly.
I need to constantly guard my marriage relationship as part of God’s design for discipleship. If I can’t love my wife and children like Christ loves the church and the Father loves his children, then I’ve compromised my witness as a believer in the Word of God. My witness is reflected in my family life. My family is not an extension of my ego, but an extension of God’s glory. When my family inner dynamics is aligned with the inner dynamics of the Godhead, then I am ready to bless the world as a family. Our family doesn’t exist for ourselves, just as the Godhead does not exist for themselves.
Father, thank You that You made us in the plurality of Your image. Help us to reflect Your inner dynamics as Father, Son and Holy Spirit within our marriage. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.