In the beginning God said, “It is not good for man to be alone and I shall make him a suitable helper,” (Genesis 2:18). Remember, it is God’s will to protect us from loneliness.
Loneliness is a silent, but giant, killer of families. We are people created for relationships. Of all the relationships, the husband and wife relationship is very intimate, intricate and unique. Even a temporary separation of spouses is painful. We do not feel deep pain when we leave our parents in search of a job. It does not hurt us much when a friend leaves us on transfer. But, even three days’ tour away from home and spouse is depressing. We long to be back home. This is because our basic emotional need is to be loved and to give love; the love of the spouse is indeed special.
A reason that men long to be back with their wives is because men are called to be protectors of the family. They are not only providers; God has made men as protectors of the family. A woman prefers security to money. ‘Security’ means ‘love’ to her.
Researchers say that loneliness is a major factor behind suicides. Also, in many cases loneliness leads to extramarital affairs, addiction to pornography, fantasies, flirting, spending more time with people of the opposite sex—who are not their spouses—and sexting. Today 40 percent of the divorces are happening due to unfaithfulness, which in many cases arises out of loneliness and lack of time for each other.
God’s goal for the man and woman in a married relationship is, “The two shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). The reason for God demanding them to be ‘one’ is to reflect His triune nature (the three as one) and to glorify Him through the unity. God always wants to see the husband and the wife as one unit, one force with one direction and one faith.
Jesus said, “So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Matthew 19:6). ‘Separate’ does not mean only divorce, but any small distance between husband and wife brings pain to both of them. That is why Paul calls the marriage a ‘profound mystery’ in Ephesians 5:32 comparing it with the relationship between Lord Jesus and His church—the inseparable covenanted relationship. The separation of the husband and wife can be caused by not talking to each other, sleeping separately in different rooms in anger, staying in two different places because of job; or one spouse out of the country to earn a little bit more.
Loneliness, in many cases, is a professional hazard—as one of the spouses has to work away from home—that can be avoided if one is content with what one has. Long back, the richest man was asked how much more he wanted. He replied, “A little bit more.” A little bit more is always desired by all of us. But at what cost, the family? Eve and Adam lost the paradise because they were not content with what God gave them. “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9–10).
The reason for God to demand the man and wife to be ‘one’ is to reflect His triune nature (the three as one) and to glorify Him through the unity. God always wants to see the husband and the wife as one unit, one force with one direction and one faith
Insecurity is another reason which forces people to look for a better job that would pay more, even if it is at the cost of family. People think wealth, assets, position and profession, savings for retirement, children’s education and so on will give them security in life. They think all these material things bring status, security, significance and joy. For these things, a married couple strives hard, even work separately in different cities or go abroad leaving one behind. In such cases, husbands and wives do not have time for each other. Children are the worst sufferers. For a ‘little bit more’ we lose the joy of family togetherness, food, fun and fellowship. We have clearly misunderstood the meaning of security and joy.
The repercussions of work over family
- Keeping God’s command is not a choice but compulsion. When we go against God’s command in Genesis 2:24, ‘The two shall become one’, we will truly miss the blessing that is found in Psalm 128:1. Staying away from each other goes against God’s commands (except for those who cannot live with their spouses in the front areas, as in the case of armed forces). Always adhere to God’s command. If you are working in different cities to earn more money for a little more comfort, luxurious life or the fear of future security, then this is what the Word says: “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat” (Psalm 127:2). Sometimes one has to forego job for the sake of family. God loves it.
- The first Commandment says: “I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me”. God hates people who worship wealth, gold or position. Do not lose God to make material things your gods.
- God loves those who trust Him and depend on Him. So rely on God who provides for all our needs—and not our wants. Hebrews 13:5–6 says: “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” 6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.”
- Another reason that man was united to his wife by God is to bring forth Godly heritage. “Has not [the Lord] made them one? In flesh and spirit, they are His. And why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring (Malachi 2:15).” If the husband and wife do not have time for each other, how will they spend time with their children and bring them up in Godly ways. Both the parents are important for children and both are responsible for bringing them up. Do not put them in a hostel because of your work.
- Finally, if you do not spend time with your beloved spouse, then life is going to be miserable. You need to grow in love with each other by understanding each other physically, emotionally and mentally. This fulfils God’s command in our lives. Money cannot replace love.
Blessings of obedience to God’s Words
- The wedding song in Psalm 128 starts like this: “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways”. For the peace and blessings of the family, the spouses are asked to work hard to fulfil God’s goal of “becoming one.” When we put a little work in our marriage, God works full-time to build our family. The blessing is: “You will eat the fruit of your labour; blessings and prosperity will be yours (Psalm 128:2).” Which means, whatever we earn will be more than enough (Two fish and five loaves). Godliness with contentment is great gain. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ that transcends all understanding will rule the home.
- The power of two protects the family. The Bible says in Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 that two are better than one because they have a good return for their work… A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. Similarly, the power will work only when the husband and the wife pray together, plan together, play together and stay together. Their spiritual togetherness keeps the devil away.
- Your sons will be like olive shoots around your table…and may you live to see your children’s children (Psalms 128:3–6). A family that stays together will see the blessings of the children. Their children are compared to olive shoots around the table. Even though they may wander away for a little time, the values instilled in them will bring them back to God. They will always be a great strength to the parents like arrows in a warrior’s quiver (Psalm 127:4).
Lack of time for spouse and children can sniff out contentment—the lifeline of marriage—from family. Invest your time and energy in building a home, not house. It is up to you to build or to break; to have “honey over money” or “money over honey”!