It’s inevitable. I have seen it over and over again. Whenever a preacher starts a sermon on the subject of marriage, I can see teenagers mentally checking out all over the place. The unsaid thought is clear—“This doesn’t apply to me right now! I’ll worry about it later.”
The problem is, though, that if you’re a young woman, a right understanding of marriage will impact how you live on a daily basis. Getting the right perspective on marriage will also reinforce the idea that God has a special and unique plan for you as a woman.
Every time I see a young woman checking out of church, I want to tell her, “This is important! God wants you to understand some important truths about His unique plan for men and women!” Here’s why:
God created men and women as distinct, yet complementary beings (meaning that their genders complement each other, see Gen. 1:27, 2:18). While both girls and guys are created in the image of God (Gen. 1:27), God had a specific purpose in mind when He created Eve—she was to be a “helper” for Adam (Gen. 2:18, 20). Being a helper does not mean that Eve was inferior to Adam in any way. It means that, in a marriage relationship, God has a plan of cooperation not competition. Men and women need each other, and this truth about the importance of community was part of God’s plan from the beginning of creation (Gen. 2:18).
What does it look like for a woman to be a helper? When the Bible describes the marriage relationship, it shows that a wife is called to submit to and respect her husband as unto the Lord while a husband is called to love his wife just as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:22-33; Col. 3:18-19). Why would God ask this of wives? The reason is that the way a husband and wife interact with each other should be a picture of the way God interacts with the church (Eph. 5:32). Christian marriages are to be a witness to unbelievers about the way Christ (pictured through husbands) loves the church (pictured through wives)! Our sexuality is not about us; it was designed to portray/proclaim the heart and character of God.
For an adult woman, the answer may be clearer. However, how should an understanding of God’s plan for gender distinctions impact young women, especially since the majority of teens aren’t getting ready to make a trip down the altar? There are at least three ways that a right understanding of God’s plan for marriage will impact a teenage young woman on a daily basis:
Remember, the thought-patterns, actions, and habits you cultivate today often determine the path you will take tomorrow. So, my younger sister in Christ, thinking right about that marriage “someday” will help you make wise choices today.
*This blog is adapted from an article in the book Critical Issues, Absolute Answers: Solutions for Students edited by Jay Strack (Thomas Nelson, 2013). It also first appear at Biblical Women.
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