Two weeks after I shared this message with our team, I was on vacation in Southern California when the news broke about Elliot Rodger and the UCSB shooting. I was overwhelmed as I read articles and watched reports about this troubled young college student, a man so consumed with hatred of women that he killed or injured nineteen people before taking his own life.
Elliot Rodger began his autobiographical account by saying, “All of my suffering on this world has been at the hands of humanity, particularly women.”* What a far cry from the Genesis 2:18 designation for women, ezer kenegdo, which as authors John and Stasi Eldredge have shared, might be best translated “life-saver.”**
I do my best to pay attention to issues of gender and how they’re being handled in our world. My understanding of these issues is nowhere near complete, but I know enough to be sure that the values our culture presents to both sexes are profoundly insufficient. Not every perversion of gender results in a string of homicides, but the consequences of less obvious distortions often reach further than we recognize.
When I was first preparing this message, I was uncertain that it was the right time or that I was the right person to share it. Could a single girl say anything of value about men and women empowering each other in marriage?
Recent events remind me that we have to tell a better story for both genders. Not just a better story. God’s story, the one He planned from our Eden start. And that’s a story all of us can—and must—tell. Marriage is a uniquely powerful place to start.
There is much more going on than bad people doing bad things. In the so-called battle of the sexes, neither men nor women are the enemy. The enemy is the enemy. People are people, and God loves people. And He urges His people to love one another.
So I ask you to hear it from the single girl:
To those who are single, dating, engaged, newlywed, or well into marriage;
To my peers and to those older and wiser than we are;
To those who believe something is amiss and to those who think everything seems fine—
Please pay attention. Please be open to reconsider some things you may have always taken for granted. Please take some time to seek out God’s heart on this subject. And please be prayerful, intentional, dedicated, and strategic in reflecting His heart in your marriage. How you live will tell our world how He loves.
PROLOGUE is a series of free messages on marriage by members of the Messenger International team. This series is being shared in celebration of the release of John and Lisa’s new message, The Story of Marriage.