Marriage: A Companionate Creation

Have you ever wondered why God created the union of marriage?  I have, especially in those moments when my spouse is on my last nerve and I’m thinking one of us is not going to live to see tomorrow.  Okay, that’s an exaggeration…but you know what I’m saying.  

Marriage is a companionate relationship, rooted in both love and friendship.  Love and friendship are key components in forming the solid foundation that allows sexuality to flourish in your marriage.  Thus, understanding why marriage was created helps us better comprehend our individual role in the relationship.

In the lyrical tune of Julie Andrews, “let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…” 

“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”  (Genesis 2:18)

 What we learn in this verse is that Adam was lonely.  He was incomplete. God knew he needed a companion so He “formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky and brought them to the man…”  (Genesis 2:19)  Reading further we are told that none of the animals were a suitable mate for Adam, so God created Eve.  It is in Eve that Adam finds completion.  Out of the need for a companionate relationship the marriage union was born into existence. 

Our primal need for companionship is so powerful and deep-rooted in us that God Most High took the time to create the perfect mate to bring us to completion.  Now, THAT is cool! 

In Malachi 2:14 God acknowledges that the wife is the companion of her husband stating, “…she is your companion and your wife by covenant.” 

What does it mean to be a companion?  If you look in the dictionary, the word companion means comrade, an associate and one that is closely connected to something or someone similar.   If you look in a thesaurus, you will read words like pal, buddy, friend, soul mate, cohort and play mate.  It goes without saying that a companionate relationship has two consistent components:  love and friendship.  It is no coincidence that the aspects of both love and friendship are clearly defined in the most ancient of all historical texts…the Bible.  It is also not a coincidence that these terms are used to describe the marital bond.

Marriages traverse many stages throughout their existence.  They grow weak and strong at various intervals in time.  Companionship takes on different shapes as people mature.   In a young relationship the focus is typically on stronger, more passionate emotions.  The active elements of marriage (love and sex) are at the forefront.  However, if you look at older couples who have been together for many years, you will see the strength of their love is often times rooted in the inactive elements of companionship. (friendship) I say it is inactive because true companionship finds fulfillment just in being.  A simple touch, a hug, a kiss on the cheek, a squeeze of the hand are milder elements of physical communication, but equally as powerful in sustaining the connection within a marriage.

Psychologists have conducted studies on the elderly and the many differences in those who have a companion and those who do not.   The results show that elderly people who are involved in a companionate relationship appear more optimistic, more confident and self-assured, prone to be more involved in activities providing mental stimulation, and more internally peaceful.   God knew what He was doing when He designed Eve for Adam.  He was fulfilling one of our basic human needs; thus making the need for active companionship one of the most fundamental components of marriage.

Companionship creates the bed of love and friendship in which your marital sexuality can then thrive.

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