Marriage - Part 3: The Counterpart
"Then the LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.' ... The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. ... For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined unto his wife; and they shall become one flesh." (NASB)
The "helper suitable" spoken of in verse 18 can also be translated as a "helping counterpart" (cf., Marriage - Part 1 - God's Original Intent). Joining together to become one flesh is reference to the unity of the marriage team. Thus, God brings your counterpart to complete you.
The word counterpart is defined as "someone or something resembling another."
The prefix of the word is "counter-", which is defined as "acting in response; done in reciprocation or exchange; complementing, duplicating; opposite in direction or position; opposing; contrary."
Reciprocate - act of moving backward and forward alternately; give and receive mutually; make a return (of an emotion, response, etc) in kind
Exchange - giving and receiving in turn
Duplicate - made like or corresponding exactly to an original; growing or existing in pairs
The word "part" is defined as "a portion of a whole; a distinct piece or portion that fulfills a specific function in the working of the whole; one's proper share, as of obligation or performance (i.e., to do one's part); role; divide or break (something into parts, separate; keep or move apart; become divided or broken into parts; go away from each other; cease associating; depart."
The Marriage Circle
Marriage is not 50-50, but 100%-100%. If you're not fulfilling your role 100% as a spouse, then it creates a gap between the two halves. As the gaps increase in number and size, then the contacting surface area decreases making the Marriage Circle easy to break apart.
If a person is to be your counterpart, then that person will complement your personality. This doesn't mean that you will be exactly alike or exact opposites, but you should be a healthy combination of those two and especially of the middle-ground area (i.e., similarities).
The reason this balance is important is because the productivity of the relationship depends on your (plural) ability to work together. Our responsibility as Christians is to "move on to perfection" and glorify God. (Hebrews 6:1) If your personalities don't complement each other, then your circle will not join together correctly. For example, if you are both hot-tempered then that part will always clash forcing the other parts (no matter how closely they are fit) to separate.
Also, if you are both lacking in a quality or trait (i.e., ability to make a decision), then that will leave gaps between the two halves. Both of these cases, the frequency and magnitude of the gaps, cause separation and result in an easily broken circle.
Am I saying that two hot-tempered people cannot remain married? No, I'm saying that you must reciprocate each other's personalities to prevent division.
Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.