Matthew and I went to Lowe’s recently to try to engineer a waterer from PVC pipe and pieces for our new chickens. He had ordered this gadget that will water the chickens without letting their water get dirty. It seemed simple enough. Just go get the pieces that fit, put them together and wah-la, a chicken waterer.
We spent the better part of an hour standing in the PVC aisle of Lowe’s trying first one and then another PVC piece, only we couldn’t make it work. The pieces just didn’t fit together. We had what appeared to be an endless supply of different options, but we couldn’t make them work because we lacked the right pieces. What looked like great options in front of us, just didn’t match up the way they needed to for our success.
When God first created earth and its inhabitants, He sat back and looked at His creation. Day after day, He had completed parts and pieces that fit perfectly together, and at the end of most days He had said, “It is good.” But one day, He sat back and didn’t say that. He watched all the parts and pieces and decided He had left out one important piece; the final piece that would actually complete His greatest work. He needed Eve, or well, Adam needed Eve.
So the Creator made the very thing that could complete the picture of creation. He made a woman. She was perfect for Adam in every way. His exact and complete opposite, and with the creation of Eve, the first family came to be. Perfection.
There’s been a lot of recorded history since that day. Men and women haven’t always gotten that relationship right. Heck, it didn’t take Adam and Eve long to let it go sideways. But just because people mess things up, doesn’t negate what God sees as good and perfect if done the way He intended.
Even at creation, God was up to something. He began then to paint a picture of His church. God created man and woman for intimacy in order that we might one day understand the intimacy He desires to have with His church.
Like I said, in short order, people got this family thing messed up. You can read in the Old Testament of men marrying lots of women. If they were rich and powerful, they had concubines to meet their sexual desires. Some men became interested in men, and there is even an account in the Bible where angels came to earth and mated with women. Some funky stuff.
When Jesus came, women were seen as property, and had no rights apart from their husbands or fathers. Jesus stood that idea on its ear when He said that in the Kingdom of God there is no superiority among the sexes. Each is to be valued, and each has an important role to play in the Kingdom.
Later, the apostle Paul wrote about the family. He said, just as Christ is head of the church, man is to be head of the family. And just as the church submits itself to Christ’s leadership, the woman shall submit herself to the leadership of the man. (Ephesians)
As Christians, we believe that the three parts of the Trinity are equal. Father, Son and Holy Spirit. But Christ, chooses to submit Himself to the Father’s leadership. This in no way downplays His power or His importance. It doesn’t lessens His position as Son. In the same way, wives choosing to submit themselves to the husbands in no way lessens their importance or ability. For families to work God’s way, there must be an appointed leader. There’s only room for one sheriff in this town.
We can try to make pieces fit together that were never meant to fit together. Women can try to take the lead in the family. Men can try to use women as doormats. Men can desire to be with men and women with women. Give us an opportunity to get it wrong, and we will give it a go. I mean we have all these pieces in front of us, surely if we try hard enough we can make them fit. We’ll force them if we have to.
Yet the pieces were created to fit only one way. Until we get that right, we will never truly understand intimacy God’s way. God established the family before He established the church, and He defined what it should look like. It was His idea, and He’s given us all the pieces we need for success. Marriage, the family, the church, intimacy… they’re all His.
Matthew and I are back at the drawing board for our chicken waterer. It’s all about lining up the right pieces and putting them together the right way. We aren’t giving up yet. It will work, if we do it the right way.