Our church meets at 11:30am, so every Sunday before church, the two of us regularly meet in a park near our apartments to study the bible together.
On this particular Sunday, I decided it would be good to go over some scripture that was related to marriage. We've been openly talking about it and she already knew that I had asked her father for his blessing and that I had the ring (kind of hard to hide a trip up to L.A. which is where I purchased the ring)
I started our morning study with Gen. 2:18-23. Here we learn about the creation of woman and her relationship to man. Notice that Eve is taken from Adam's side (rib) and thus, she is comparable to him, not subservient or lesser. Also understand that the word for helper is the same word used to describe the Holy Spirit's relationship to Christ Jesus (two parts of the triune God or Trinity)
Then the LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him." Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and 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,
Because she was taken out of Man."
I then moved on to read Eph. 5:22-33. This describes how a man should treat his wife. A man must nourish and cherish his wife. Here, God also calls men to be the heads of their families (which is an awesome responsability). It is not the same as being the boss but rather being the leader who builds up the family, both spiritually and communally.
Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
Finally we turned to Proverbs 31 (which she was already familiar with) These verses describe the qualities of a good woman. What is most notable is that she is never described as a slave or subservient. She is a productive, supportive part of the family - a 'helper suitable' for her husband.
An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
"Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all."
Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.
Now, when I opened to Proverbs 31, there, in the center of my bible was the engagement ring. As I took the ring with the morning sunlight glistening off the white gold and the three perfect diamonds, I asked Julia to be my wife and my helper.
You can look up even more verses at http://bible.gospelcom.net/