Have you ever tried to find the perfect gift for someone you love? Could be your spouse. Could be a parent.
Finding that perfect gift is really hard if the person has most of the things that they want in life already.
Have you ever thought about what the perfect gift would be for you if someone else were buying it for you?
God gave each of us married folks a perfect gift. That gift is your husband or wife (whichever applies!). I am not saying your spouse is perfect but he is perfect for you.
You may be thinking, "Wow! Are you sure about that?" or "You have got to be crazy; you don't know my husband (or wife)."
When we go back to the beginning and God's original design for this world, Adam had all of his needs met in his relationship with God, but God saw that Adam needed another human and a companion with whom to share his life.
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” .... So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep. While the man slept, the Lord God took out one of the man’s ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib, and He brought her to the man. “At last!” the man exclaimed. (Genesis 2:18, 21-23a, NLT, emphasis mine)
God brought Eve to Adam in the same way a father brings a bride to the groom in a wedding today. Adam received Eve as God's perfect gift for him - not based on anything she had done or said, but based on his confidence and trust in God as a giver of good gifts.
God wants me today to see my spouse as my perfect gift. It doesn't mean that he acts perfect or is perfect, but that he is perfect for me. At the time of our wedding most of us believed that. What happened?
We often marry because we find someone who is different from us - in a good way. I see qualities that I don't have but I wish I had. If I am a quite, reserved person, I might marry someone who is more outgoing and feels comfortable meeting new people. That person knows how to engage in conversation with lots of different people, but I just clam up.
But then, after marriage, this outgoing person wants to drag me into all kinds of new situations that I have never been in or don't want to be in. He will take me to a party and leave me in the corner as he moves around the room meeting and talking to people that neither of us know. Suddenly, the outgoing-ness of the person irritates me, causes me discomfort, and becomes a source of conflict.
Hence the expression, "Before marriage opposites attract; after marriage opposites attack."
Once conflict sets in, a couple often focuses on the negative attributes of the other one instead of the great ones that attracted them in the beginning.
I have a great husband but he is not perfect - he is only perfect for me. Sometimes, when I am around other couples, I think about what the husband would be like in marriage. Even for men that are our friends, I find myself thinking, "I like him as a person, but I can't imagine having to live with him everyday." I am always thankful that God gave me Ed.
One of the attributes that attracted me to Ed was his cleanliness. In an era when guys were growing beards, wearing disheveled clothes, and wearing unkempt hair down to their shoulders, he stood out. So, when Ed gets into one of his "throw away anything that has sat there for more than two days" moods, I thank God for him. Otherwise, we would live amidst piles up to our eyeballs. He recognizes that I am a "pile-it" (sounds like "pilot") and he balances me.
In the times when we may get on each other's nerves or when we see life from opposite perspectives, I know that this is God's affirmation that He has given me a perfect gift. Now, I try to focus on the positive qualities of my husband. And to appreciate who he is and who God has given me.
We teach this principle whenever we teach others on marriage. When we go to Africa, we take them a gift and a reminder of this principle. We have the words "perfect gift" embossed on a rubber bracelet that has pink and blue colors swirled together. the pink and the blue represent the husband and wife who are joined together in oneness. They are not to be separated anymore than you could separate the two colors of the bracelet.
We have them look at each other every day and say "You are God's perfect gift for me."