Bible College of Western Australia

A Tip for Marriage: To Complete and not to Compete

Genesis 2: 22-24. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman, ‘ for she was taken out of man.”  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Men and women are different and yet alike. In marriage, they are to complement each other and this is one of the marvels of creation. God made Adam and yet he was not complete – he needed a helper. In view thereof, God took a rib from Adam and created Eve. Both were created to complement each other. It is vital to bear in mind that both males and females have roles of equal importance and that “one flesh” implies equality. Eve came from Adam’s rib to walk alongside him, and be his partner.

Research has shown that our brain is divided into 2 halves, with each half being designed to perform different functions. 

Left Side Right Side
Controls language Space & pattern discerning side
Performs complicated & logical activity Perspective in drawings
The mathematical side Deals with the musical and the artistic 
Controls speech and writing Concerned with relationships and emotions 
Analytical Impulsive
Objective Subjective

Men generally have a stronger left-brain dominance.

Women tend to function more with an equal use of both sides, with perhaps a slight trend to right-brain dominance.

The reason for this is the connecting fibres between the left and right sides of the brain are smaller and fewer in number in males.

This does not make one better or smarter than the other, but it does make us different. We need each other. God had it all planned out.

This awareness should show us our need for greater love and respect for our mates; and marriages would be happier if we would see what we can learn from our partner; and try to complete each other without competing with each other.

Marriage should therefore be characterized by loving, caring, responding, admonishing, giving, respecting, knowing and forgiving. At the core of marriage is the covenant commitment with unconditional love for each other. Out of the security of this love develops grace. In an atmosphere of grace, husband and wife are family members exercising freedom to empower each other. This leads to intimacy which develops a deeper level of commitment.

God has designed marriage relationships to grow to maturity. Growth occurs when there is involvement of both persons. It can be retarded or blocked at any point when one person is unable or unwilling to reciprocate covenant love, grace, empowerment or intimacy. If the relationship does not deepen to another level of commitment, grace, empowering and intimacy, it will fixate on contract, rather than on covenant, on law rather than on grace, on individualistic possessive power rather than on mutual empowering, and on distance rather than on intimacy.

Marriage relationships can either be dynamic and maturing or stagnant and dying. The depth of bonding in marriage relationships equips husband and wife to develop empowering relationships with those outside the family.


This is based on unconditional love and is therefore not a contract. God promises blessings as a fulfillment of the covenant.


Grace is unmerited favour. Law leads to legalism but grace provides freedom from legalism. Perfectionism would be demanded in a marriage based on law. This pressure adds guilt to failure.


This refers to the establishment of positive power in another person and is resultant from encouraging the positive behaviour of another. It involves helping another recognize strengths and potentials within, and encouraging and guiding the development of these qualities. It does not involve controlling or enforcing a certain way of doing or being.


With no deception, masks or pretense, there must be openness and transparency. There must be the concerted effort to listen, to understand, and to want what is best for one another.

*I remember this song by Frank Sinatra. You may too. Even if you have not heard this song, the words are quite appropriate:                                                      

Love and marriage, love and marriage,
Go together like a horse and carriage.
This I tell ya, brother, you can’t have one without the other.

Love and marriage, love and marriage,
It’s an institute you can’t disparage.
Ask the local gentry and they will say it’s elementary.

Try, try, try to separate them, it’s an illusion.
Try, try, try and you only come to this conclusion:�
Love and marriage, love and marriage,
Go together like a horse and carriage.
Dad was told by mother you can’t have one
You can’t have none.
You can’t have one without the other.

[Musical interlude]

Try, try, try to separate them, it’s an illusion.
Try, try, try and you only come to this conclusion:

Love and marriage, love and marriage,
Go together like a horse and carriage.
Dad was told by mother you can’t have one
(You can’t have none.)
You can’t have one without the other.  –Frank Sinatra.

                                                 -Songwriters: SAMMY CAHN / JIMMY VAN HEUSEN




August 28, 2012

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