It is not a secret today that many struggle to have joy-filled marriages. We learn alarming facts about the difficulties of marriage when we read the news or when we speak with our relatives or friends. Divorce is a force that seemingly knows no boundaries. Those who are poor or less educated as well as those who seem to have it all may find themselves unsure and concerned about a marriage relationship and its future.
You may have had these thoughts about marriage; I know I have. Our culture today seems to offer so few avenues for married couples or those who desire to be married to follow that demonstrate proven concepts that lead to joyful marriages. I have often wondered if many people are not just using the “trial by fire” method in marriage. That method is where we have no idea of what the guidelines for successful marriage are, so we just keep trying anything and may end up doing something frustratingly wrong over and over until we feel like we are in a fire, with no water to put the fire out. Some marriage counselors call that method the “crazy cycle”. Maybe you feel like you have been roasting in a fire for a while.
How many people who want to be married actually feel they have been trained to understand their role as a husband or wife when they marry? This brings me to the point of my article.
The guidebook for all aspects of our lives
The Bible has much to offer those who genuinely seek insightful marital help. This is a statement Christ made in the latter half of John 10:10 John 10:10The thief comes not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
American King James Version×, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly”. This statement sounds like a promise we all need to consider because this promise also relates to making marriages abundantly joyful. Many believe Jesus Christ came to help them and save them. This belief permeates every aspect of their lives, including their marriages.
I know that it is the desire of Christ that all humanity experience joy-filled marriages, but often we do not want to consult what the Bible says about such topics. Yet the Bible represents the teachings Christ believed in and taught and those teachings include messages concerning marriage. I hope if you are reading this and are concerned about your marriage right now or the future of marriage in general that you will consider a passage in Genesis.
Genesis 2:18 Genesis 2:18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
American King James Version×reads, “And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him” (King James Version). A few things are obvious for anyone who reads this verse. The first is that it is not good that men be alone. Yet in our world today, many men, by their actions, seek to work against this scripture. They feel they will be just as happy if they are not suitably married to one woman. But the Bible stresses the need for a man to live this way because this is how men were created. By God’s design it is in the very forefront and deepest recesses of the mind and heart of men to live abundantly committed to one woman. God simply did not intend for men to live or flourish well mentally, physically or spiritually by themselves. Yes, scripture does support the fact that men were designed by their Creator to be bonded to one woman for their own sakes.
God also said He would create for man a “help meet”. I hope I can reach the hearts of men and women as we examine this phrase for a moment. In all reality the Hebrew language of the Old Testament is expressing something much more complex here. This “help meet” phrase does not mean that God just prepared the feminine gender so there was someone around the house to sweep and clean and change diapers.
The Hebrew language is more deeply revealing than just what we often read on the surface. It is stating that God created woman so that a man will become more complete as a man, father and husband. A man needs to realize that God has provided him with the chosen opportunity to have an ally that will always work along beside him. Ladies reading this, there is more. Please do not shy away from my intent for men here. This means that the ally is comparable to him and this would mean comparable in the fullest ability of a wife to achieve, accomplish and abound in her life too.
Other scriptures define to us that it is the man/husband who is ultimately responsible for the safety, security and spiritual development of his wife in the marriage relationship (Ephesians 5:25-28 Ephesians 5:25-28  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself.
American King James Version×).
My point in this article is for men to see that they need to value and carefully consider the woman God said would be able to be a true ally for them. Men, do you see your wife or future wife as an ally? An ally is one with whom you collaborate. In other words, you consult her; you appreciate her perspective. You work together in a joint partnership. This means that you consider her needs and dreams too. Allies work best when they give and take in a mutual relationship considering the needs of their partners.
Lessons from history
Dwight David Eisenhower was the allied military commander in WWII that led the “Allies” to victory. Many remember that part of history. But many do not remember that Dwight Eisenhower was severely criticized many times by the American press and the American military because he often considered the needs of our “Allies” (military and personnel) in bringing victory to certain towns along the way in the triumph of the Allies in Europe.
If Dwight Eisenhower had not been sensitive to the feelings and needs of the allies he commanded in WWII, that war may have been lost or at least prolonged due to an emotional lack of faith, trust and unity of all those nations and peoples working to achieve one goal. Though one person may often be responsible for making crucial decisions, true committed allies respond best when the needs of all have been considered to make sure each party enjoys success along the way to a joint victory.
This also brings out another purpose we need to understand for the “helper” or “ally” in the bonding of a man and a woman as one flesh. Men, I hope you are reading Genesis 2:18 Genesis 2:18And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
American King James Version×with an open heart. The woman of your life is the one who also as an ally helps you achieve the common goals you share. She is the one who helps build a home, helps build a future and helps overcome the trials you will face as one couple. She is the one on whom you can always trust and turn to when things become tough, as life does at times. Guys, if you have nourished and built and bonded with the “ally” in your marriage; your ally will always be there to fight alongside you. If you do not grasp this concept and work to live by it, you may find yourself working alone, trying to fight off the trials of life by yourself. Wives as true committed allies respond best when we consider their needs and make sure they enjoy success as well.
Men, marriages work best when we follow the guidelines God intentionally set for us. There is much more to consider about the joy that comes from understanding the need for men and women to realize how marriage was designed to work. The “ally” concept is just one of those design considerations built into the institution of marriage. Use that design. Use that concept given to us by our Father and Jesus Christ so that your marriage may become abundant and rich and full of joy in every way.
For more biblical guidelines on how to enrich your marriage, request our free study aid Marriage and Family: The Missing Dimension.