A couple of weeks ago, as we were sitting at the lunch table, my dad pulled a fast one on us. The conversations were rolling and everyone was catching up having a good time. Dad reached from beneath the table and pulled out a book: “Gods master plan for marriage” by Stephen and Georgina Adei . I smiled within myself. Prior to this moment my sister and I had been pestering him to give us one of his most prized books concerning marriage. Adhering to our wish, he handed the copies to us. He dipped down a second time, however, and pulled out a second book. No prior requests had been made. As the books lay stack on the table he left us with these simple words: “I want you two to read the marriage book after you have read this one.” We peeped over at the front cover: “Understanding the purpose and power of men”  (and “of women” respectively). Heads nodding, we collected the books. The day continued.
I pulled out my chair as I flipped through the pages. It was a hot sunny day. Sitting outside was the logical thing to do escaping the oven like temperatures of my room. Staying in a hostel with your fellow peers gives you the privilege of having an assortment of neighbours. Seeking to rest my mind for but a moment, I took off from my seat and made my way down the hostel corridor. I knocked on a friend’s room (let’s call him Tom) and the door opened. The usual “hello’s” were exchanged. Amidst the small talk Tom glanced down and fixed his eyes upon the book I was carrying. “What’s that about?” he asked? I quickly replied “Understanding the purpose and power of men” (without delving into much detail). He gave a little smirk. I deciphered Tom’s smile and immediately knew that the gears had shifted towards “relationships.” Lifting his eyes from the book, he responded: “It is good to understand yourself before you understand ‘others.'”
Sweaty palms, heart palpitations and appetite loss. Though this may not be the case for all, but to some this spells out the symptomatology of a love-sick heart. Some of us may be familiar with the romantic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. Or perhaps the smitten Jack and Rose in the Oscar award winning Titanic. Yet still, the humorous depiction of enduring love, between “Scone’s” mom and her husband Manganya (from the popular television series “Tikuferanji”- Why are we dying?) may be your cup of tea. Their happily ever after’s (some more than others) have mirrored with our own human experience touching upon the archives of our lives. A multiplicity of languages sound our world yet the language of love is universal. I began thinking of all these fictional characters. Amid the pondering, a non-fictitious love story emerged. “Bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh” said Adam to Eve . It was more than a Shakespearean sonnet. It was the threading of two hearts culminating in holy intimacy. Bliss! How did they get there? What was the process? A typical love story, often times, has a buildup of events and dealings that lead to the coming together of the hopeful pair. As the story heightens and crescendos a peak is reached and love is expressed at the summit. I wonder, perhaps, that could the coming together of these two have followed a similar process?
“It is good to understand yourself before you understand ‘others.'”
In the mind of God was conceived the first man and the first woman. Yet before the two ever met each other, they each met God. Adam knew God (before the LORD formed Eve) and so too did Eve (whilst Adam was asleep). I slowly began to see that their very life as singles was hallmarked by this very foundation: God. He had purposed a relationship with both Adam and Eve prior to their coming together. Could it be that the solidarity of their love expression was a product of their pursuit of God- or rather, a product of Gods pursuit of them?
I journeyed to instigate their relationship with God. The question that surfaced in my thinking was “what occurred from the time they were each created until the time they first met?” The words “understand yourself” seemed to resonate more clearly. The LORD had indeed instituted a relationship with each of them. Yet within the sphere of that bond He took them through a journey. This journey finds its mapping in the words of Tom on that hot sunny day: “It is good to understand yourself before you understand ‘others.'” Adam and Eve not only had some understanding of whom their Maker was but they also understood who their Maker had made them to be: “The LORD GOD formed man of dust…the LORD God fashioned into a woman [4-5].” We live in a generation that has redefined the biblical model of manhood and womanhood. The very gender that the LORD has given to us comes from the array of His good and perfect gifts. Question is, have we opened it? Have we understood the purpose and power behind what we are as men and women? “When men/women are ignorant of their true identity, it affects not only their callings and fulfilment, but also that of their families and of society as a whole. This is because as the man/woman goes, so goes the family, society, and the world” (paraphrased with “men/women” from “Understanding the purpose and power of men” by Dr. Myles Munroe).
The lines of biblical manhood and womanhood are slowly being blurred. There is a call to each one of us. Whether single, in a relationship (courting), or married, God is calling us to walk in the identity He has given to us as a gift. Some friends of mine have recently been running entire blogs and blog posts concerning the same matter (they are worth checking out- http://www.iamnotagoddess.wordpress.com/2015/10/19/week-1-in-the-beginning-god, http://www.larryace.tumblr.com). What steps will you take to clear those blurred lines? What steps will you take to purposely pursue your God given identity as a man and as a woman? What steps will you take to pursue God?
…..At His Feet
- 2005, Gods master plan for Marriage, Stephen and Georgina Adei
- 2001, Understanding the purpose and power of men, Dr. Myles Munroe
- Genesis 2:23a (New American Standard Bible)
- Genesis 2:7a (New American Standard Bible)
- Genesis 2:22a (New American Standard Bible)