The consequences of marriage affect every aspect of society. It occupies the most intimate aspect of personal privacy and personal love and reaches the pillars of the sacred institutions of a culture. Marriage is the pillar of society, but it is also the pillar of government, business, and the military. Marriage cuts to the very heart of a nation. As goes marriage; so goes the nation. It infiltrates every aspect of human life not only for the married but also for the unmarried. When marriages prosper, the nation rises; when marriages fail, the nation falls. Divorce not only rattles the foundation of the judicial system and psychiatry, but, through its influence on children, alters the course of the next generation. Divorces are the steps to the grave of a culture and a nation. The study of culture, corporate or private, is the study of marriage.
The beginning of mankind and the first marriage in the Garden of Eden will be analyzed. We have to start somewhere. There had to be a beginning. However, since marriage is for the entire human race, this is not a Bible lesson. Mankind will be regarded as having a soul; but the subject of spirituality will be left for future works. The Divine Laws of Marriage, however, will be honored as applicable.
The seeds of mankind will be translated into behavior, roles, and relationships. The fundamental needs of mankind will be translated into culture as a rudimentary definition of society. Society will not be analyzed to determine its idiosyncrasies, which is problem analysis; but the seeds of the source will be used to describe the trees that result. The roots of behavior will be analyzed and the fruit of the branches will be revealed.
The fundamental relationships of marriage will be defined. the applicability of these relationships to culture will be explored. Implications for single life, divorce, government, and business will be examined.
The study of Culture is overly complicated because of the assumed behavioral models. The most basic human need is life: the need for protection, deliverance, survival. The second most basic need is love: the need for companionship, a fulfilling relationship. From the basic needs for life and love proceed behavior and from behavior the roles of society. But personal flaws related to these basic needs are the seeds of discontent which destroy the fundamental institutions of society, e.g. marriage.
As goes marriage, so goes culture. When marriages fail the impact upon the rest of a culture is disastrous. The rise and fall of the individual, the marriage, business, and governments can all be charted in relation to the success or failure of marriage in a society.
It would be easy to elaborate on the concept of culture and society, but that approach will not necessarily lead to a conclusion that is simple enough to understand - let alone believe. It would be simpler to seek the source of culture rather than get bogged down in examples of the results. If the truth of the source can be understood, it will be much simpler.
The will to live is the seed that sparks the fight to survive. It is a fundamental value that is inherent in every member of the human race regardless of ethnic origin. The most primitive societies as well as the most sophisticated all have this basic need. It is so fundamental that it is, indeed, instinctive. It is the seed that motivates the most basic human behavior and translates into fundamental tenets of a society, its culture.
Beyond life is love. Love is the need for companionship. In terms of priority life is higher. A person may give up love but will cling to life. Only in the case where virtue love overrules does life take a back seat to love. A person with virtue love will lay down his life for the one he loves. However, this is not the norm. A person who loses love is also for all practical purposes dead, i.e. dead in the soul.
The two fundamental tenets of a culture are, therefore, life and love. The authors of our Declaration of Independence were absolutely right: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." They understood this. How many sociologists do? So the source of human behavior and culture both stem from the need for Life and Love. These are the seeds of civilization and culture.
Now Adam, who had life, still lacked one of the basic needs. He had no human companionship. So God gave him a perfect companion. He built from Adam, the perfect man, a perfect companion. The perfect companion was Ishah (Hebrew for woman). She wasn't called Eve ("mother of all living") until after the fall. The woman was for Adam the perfect relationship. The perfect relationship gave Adam love. There was no love relationship in homo sapiens until Ishah, the woman, provided it.
From the Garden, two seeds are evident: Life and Love. The human race started with two people: A male who represented life and a female who represented love. They ate fruit, and even the fruit symbolized love.
After the fall, Adam became the male protector for his wife. The woman who was Adam's wife (later named Eve) was the symbol of love because there was no love relationship in homo sapiens until she was created. Everything about the woman symbolized love.
The two people were married. The first marriage in perfect environment clearly represented the basic concepts of Life and Love. The roles of husband and wife in the first marriage were clearly discernible. Adam represented life, and the woman (later Eve) represented love. The man became the breadwinner, the worker, the protector, the leader; while the woman became the love responder, helper, homemaker. Later she would be the mother, but we will save that for later.
The best illustration of Life and Love as the seeds of
culture is marriage.
Marriage in the Garden was made up of two perfect people in perfect
environment. Adam and Ishah were perfect in every way. They were
trichotomous. They had a body, soul, and spirit. They were genius mentality
with more capacity for life and love than any member of the human race.
The perfect life that God gave them was marriage. It included phenomenal
love, happiness, and fulfillment. Sex was for recreation - not procreation.
And there was no family to demand attention - only perfect man and perfect
woman on a perfect honeymoon.
|Adam & Eve|
It is interesting that God's idea of perfection was marriage - not family, business, society, or entertainment. The perfect man and woman were content with each other. Adam was the ruler of the world. All they had to do was to avoid sinning to perpetuate this state of heaven on earth. Marriage was, therefore, by order of precedent the single most important relationship in life apart from relationship with God. When the stage was set for the human race to begin, it was the marriage of the perfect man and the perfect woman that exemplified the ultimate relationship in this life.
Marriage is still the same as the precedent set in the Garden of Eden. It is designed to be the ultimate human relationship. As the scripture says,
Yet, even in perfect environment with two perfect people, Right Man and Right Woman, the first marriage failed. Marriage cannot solve man's problems. When the man and the woman sinned, they died spiritually and destroyed the wonderful Spiritual rapport they had possessed before the fall. Their souls were overcome by darkness, sin, and emotion. They no longer had the capacity for life and love and the perpetual honeymoon they once enjoyed. If two perfect people in perfect environment could not keep a marriage going, what hope is there for the rest of mankind?
Life carries with it authority while love cannot have authority. Love must be a free response - not a command. On the other hand, the exercise of authority demands respect for the person under authority but may reach even higher standards of leadership and virtue. When the person with life has virtue, he will be willing to sacrifice his life for the one he loves. So the virtue in leadership is love for subordinates. Love, on the other hand, must be free from authority. True love must be freely given. It cannot be coerced or manipulated.
This presents an interesting dilemma. Life demands authority and leadership when two or more people are involved (as is the case in marriage). If anyone knows anything about systemic viewpoint and alignment, then this one knows there is only one way to achieve unity of direction (strategic and tactical alignment): There must be one authority - one head. The same should be obvious from team sports, which demand a leader. Love, on the other hand, demands the absence of authority. It is little wonder that the woman in marriage often discounts authority. It is because she is the epitome of love. So life and leadership demand authority and respect for it while love demands freedom. Can it be both ways?
Now, the demands of marriage require a harmonious relationship between the two extremes: Life and Love. How can these unlike qualities possibly bond into one harmonious unit? That is precisely what a good marriage demands - harmonious union in the face of a dichotomy of differences. There must be Life (leadership, authority, etc.), and there must be love (no coercion or manipulation or authority). Well, the chemist and the baker see this everyday. They combine elements of unlike properties to make a compound that is both homogeneous and useful. Sodium and Chloride make salt; and the baker uses salt to make a cake along with the other dissimilar ingredients. Who can argue with the results? Perhaps there is hope for marriage.
In order to bring together Life and Love in marriage, Life must bond
with Love and Love must bond with Life. Life must have love to bond with
love. This is possible when virtue raises Life to the higher standard of
love - i.e. the leader must be willing to sacrifice his life for the one
he loves. The person with authority must have love for the person under
his authority. This is the bond that binds Life to Love. The husband must
have virtue love for his wife; otherwise there will be no relationship
between Life and Love. Only when the husband has the virtue from integrity
will he be able to form a bond with his wife. So the first half of the
bond of marriage is the man having virtue love for his wife.
The other half of the bond of marriage is similar: Love must have respect for Life. This means that Love must respect the authority and leadership of Life. Respect is a higher form of submission to authority. It translates obedience into a higher standard from virtue, and that higher standard is respect. How can Love relate to Life? By translating the authority into respect. The volition of the person under authority must freely decide to respect the authority of the leader. In so doing, the subordinate becomes a willing follower, who bows in honor and respect, who respects protocol and considers service a privilege. Respect translates submission to authority into willing service. The subordinate becomes a willing follower. This produces harmonious teamwork. The leader and follower are inseparably united by this bond of respect. The team can function in no other way.
Thus, the two dichotomous roles, Life and Love, must bond. Life must bond with love by exercising love in leadership. Love must bond with Life by respecting the authority of Life and entering willingly into respectful service. Only when the two halves of the marriage bond are in place is there a functional marriage. When either link breaks, the marriage becomes dysfunctional. The two dichotomous roles can no longer unite.
People are born for each other. We learn this from the divine order of precedent associated with the Lord's creation of the first Right Woman for Adam. This has not changed. Thus, there are powerful forces ingrained from birth to bring the Right Woman to the Right Man. The woman was created for love. Her soul is different from man's. She is a right lobe thinker, which means she is generally smarter than her male counterpart and much more loving. She'll make a poor soldier but a good lover.
So, after the child grows up, it leaves home, searches for the right one, and marries. To put it another way, the unmarried person pursues a mad search for love. The woman is the epitome of that love. Romance and single life are all about pursuing this dream of finding true love at the end of the rainbow. This is the quest for personal love, which is attraction for the object of love, as opposed to impersonal love, which is objective and based upon the integrity of the source. So the single person seeks the fulfillment of his or her romantic illusions of personal love.
Love is the dream, but not the reality. Marriage is the reality; and, therein, lies the catch that pours icewater on the hottest romance! Anyone, can be strongly attracted to an object of love. Personal love attractions are always popping up. Immature people have no problem having strong love attractions. However, they have no integrity of soul and no objectivity in love. The strength of love is impersonal love objectivity from integrity of soul - not personal love with its subjectivity. Immature people have no capacity for love.
Marriage is for adults - not children. Marriage is a divine institution. God invented it, and God provided the rules to go with it. When the divine rules of marriage are ignored, the marriage is doomed. Personal love, for example, may motivate people to get married, but personal love will not sustain a marriage five minutes! Although marriage does provide the home for the most intimate expression of human love, the closest love relationship in this life, that strong personal love will not sustain the marriage. How long can the fires of the honeymoon last? Not very long without following the divine rules.
The divine rules for marriage are covered in detail in the Bible, but the basic principles have been mentioned in previous sections of this article. They are:
The marriage demands a head (the one in charge) and a follower. If the follower is not subordinate, then arrogance will create friction in the relationship. This is the only way this team can function. God invented these rules. Those who break them will discover the consequences. When the husband is weak and has no capacity for life and love or the wife is headstrong or flighty, the marriage is in trouble. It is imperative that the two function as a single unit in marriage. They must both go the same way. There must be cohesion in the pursuit of life. The two must be one - i.e. one unit, one mind, one complete solution.
Now, this is a tall order. God knew this; so he provided something special that sets aside these rules temporarily. Authority is set aside for sex, which is the expression of personal love. Authority has no place in sex. According to the Bible, "the husband does not have authority over his body, but the wife; and the woman does not have authority over her body but the husband." Either party can initiate sex. During sex, authority is temporarily set aside; so that sex is a temporary vacation from marriage.
The divine rules provide the framework for an effective marriage. If they are followed, they provide protection for the marriage. The woman under authority has an umbrella of protection over her head. Obeying authority is not demeaning but honorable. Under the man's authority, the woman has freedom; for authority establishes the boundaries of freedom. Rejection of the authority is failure to accept the responsibility of marriage. It is arrogance that will lead to a host of problems, e.g. contentiousness, strife, jealousy, infidelity, lust attraction. The reacting wife will enter the world without the umbrella of protection of her husband. Her frantic search for happiness to fill the void in her life from rejection of Right Man will lead to lascivious attraction for paramours. Note: this scenario is well documented by psychologists and counselors.
The husband who functions under authority himself must assume his command with true love for his subordinate. He must never use his authority to bark orders or bully, but he must lead his wife from the motivation of virtue love. Virtue love comes from integrity - not strong personal attraction. The husband cannot exercise authority over his wife without virtue in his own soul. Such a man would never abuse a woman. He is to be her protector - even to the point of laying down his life for her as Christ did for the Church (Ephesians 5:25-26).
When marriages begin to disintegrate, the woman becomes contentious (reactive) and the man becomes weak (a wimp). As the woman reacts, the man tries to pacify her to keep peace in the marriage. When the man loses his poise and reacts to his wife, he has failed the first requirement for authority, i.e. a cool head, a relaxed mental attitude, poise under fire. The weak male and the reacting female sow the seeds of discontent in marriage. The man clams up, and the woman loses her respect for him. Guilt accumulates in the subconscious from failure to resolve the conflict. The love life suffers. The marriage becomes dysfunctional.
Only a clear belief in the seeds of Life and Love that grew into the marriage can protect it. These fundamental concepts cannot be ignored if the marriage is to survive.
|Culture?||Needs||Source||Life & Love|
Revised August 21, 2010