By Mark Walz
The other day I did something I sometimes do to help my wife — I left work early to help with overwhelming tasks at home. Many of you know we have five kids (and a dog and a lizard), all of which need a ton of attention. The laundry, the dishes, the school work, and all the remodeling going on at the house… well, if we get behind on anything, it quickly adds up! After surprising her when I got home I joyfully said, “I’m the boss! If I can’t come home to help when it is needed, then what is it good for?” I then spent the better part of the next eight hours doing various tasks around the house and outside. When I finally went to bed, my wife was already asleep.
The next day things in the house still felt stressful and ‘off’, and especially with Cate. I left for work still feeling like I had released very little anxiety. It just didn’t seem fair.
Then I read something that grabbed my attention. It was a chapter in a book talking about the design of marriage prior to The Fall. The author was pointing out the truth that the design of marriage was unity. So I went back to Genesis:
So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:21-24, ESV)
The creation of Adam was never the final move of God. No, He had always planned to make humanity by making a man and a woman. Adam wasn’t just lonely; he wasn’t meant to be alone. For alone he was only half of what he was meant to be.
I realized where I took a misstep — where I was trying to be married in the wrong way. She was working on a restoration project on a piece of furniture, but rather than help her I thought it best to organize something else. Simply put, I thought the best use of our time was that she do her thing and I would do my thing. I thought two people working on separate things would get things done faster. But a good marriage, a marriage done right, is not made to work that way. In all things related to marriage, it is best and right to approach it with unity as the focus. I started to imagine what the evening would have looked like if instead of organizing I decided to work with her on her project. What would our marriage have looked like the next day? And you may not be surprised that neither of us got either of our projects done!
I had to confess these things to Cate and ask for her forgiveness. I know I am more focused on tasks than she is at times. I can work and work all day and I love it, but if I am not careful it can be like two people working in a house rather than a married couple — one flesh. I think to be married in a right way I need to make unity a bigger focus, and then let the tasks get completed when they get completed. We will be better off for it.