By Scott Keith –
When a man loves a woman
Can’t keep his mind on nothin’ else
He’d trade the world
For a good thing he’s found
– Michael Bolton –
Not that I’m a Michael Bolton fan, but today my beautiful wife and I celebrate our 20th anniversary, and I’m feeling a tad sappy. My wife is the love of my life. She has been given to me to love and cherish; cherish her is what I try to do. I believe that God created her to cause me to say “Wow” when I see her. He created her to long after me, desire me, and further, to desire me to say “Wow” when I see her. I believe that God created me to want to care for her, protect her, love her, and desire her more than anything. And desire her I do!
Recently, I have been reading John Eldredge’s, Wild at Heart. Something that I recently read struck me. “Adam bears the likeness of God in his fierce, wild, passionate heart. And yet, there is one more finishing touch. There is Eve. Creation comes to a high point, its climax with her. She is God’s finishing touch. As Paul later writes, man ‘is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man’ (1 Cor. 11:7). And all Adam can say is, ‘Wow.’ Eve embodies the beauty and mystery and the tender vulnerability of God. As the Poet William Blake said, ‘The naked woman’s body is a portion of eternity too great for the eye of man.’”
The marriage relationship is a special one. It is more than sexual, though it is sexual. It is more than emotional, though it is emotional. It is more than a commitment, though it certainly is that. It is hard. It is wonderful. It challenges, and it rewards. It makes one tired, and it fills one with a never-ending energy. It embodies all of the wonderful aspects of our world while at times challenging us with some of the most intensely negative aspects. It is a picture, a snapshot, of our life and even our faith. It is a mystery; a wonderful mystery. When a man loves a woman, he really can’t keep his mind on nothing’ else. She becomes so much a part of whom he is that it is difficult for him to tell where he ends, and she begins. Paul says much the same in Ephesians 5: “In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”
As God describes the love of a man for his wife, as He describes marriage, He tells us that the two literally become one flesh. They are, the primary family relationship because they are one. He is totally transfixed on her, and she is totally enthralled with him. They are one.
Finally, for the men out there who have read my last few contributions both here and on the 1517 Legacy Project, remember, a man is complete when he is with his wife, and he is only a father because the two have become one. As important as I think it is for a man to be a man, and for men to be good fathers, it is just as important to remember that the relationship of a man to his wife is the first- and primary relationship in his family. It is because the two have become one that the one becomes several or many. It is his passion for her, that results in his love, protection, leadership, and guidance, and her love, nurture and care of and for their children. It is she that makes him a father and he that makes her a mother. If their relationship is broken, if he does not desire her nor she him, their children will lack a denotative example of how God in Christ loves the church. Again, from Ephesians 5: “for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
So to my wife this day I say, thank you. Thank you for allowing me to love, honor, cherish, and protect you. Thank you for being a desire to me. Thank you for allowing me into all that you are. Without you and I am less of a man. I love you! Now to all of you out there in reader land, as the late Robin Williams once said in one of my all time favorite movies: if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to see about a girl.