In my last blog, I wrote about working towards “The Marriage of Your Dreams” in 2012 ~ a worthy goal !
However, before we get too far down that path, I want to reflect upon what God desires for your marriage. Why did God create marriage? And, if you knew that, what difference does it make?
GOD’S REASONS FOR MARRIAGE: First, I believe that God created marriage as a means to meet legitimate needs (that most of us have) in a dynamic way. Remind yourself that God said of Adam that “it is not good for the man to be alone” (Gen 2:18). The point here is that we are created with needs that only a person who intimately knows us can meet and satisfy. We have a need to be known, to be loved for who we are as a person (and not just for what our body looks like), and to be cared for. In fact, the Bible declares that marriage is to be like two people becoming one (“and the two shall become one flesh”, Genesis 2:24). Most scholars see this “one flesh” representing the meeting of, at the very least, emotional and physical needs.
One of those profound needs that is met in marriage is for sexual fulfillment in a good and proper environment. The Bible, in numerous places, affirms that physical intimacy inside marriage is a good thing (Song of Songs, Pro 5:18-19, 1 Cor 7:2-5, Heb 13:4). And, furthermore, lifelong commitment provides an ideal environment for a child’s maturity.
Second, God created marriage as a means to help you grow to be more like Jesus. For example, in Ephesians 5:33, God calls the husband to love his wife (putting aside their selfish desires for the wellbeing of their wife) and for the wives to respect their husbands. Very few (if any) places in life will cause you to “be a servant” and “die to self” more than your relationship to your spouse.
Finally, God created marriage as means to offer the good news of God’s love to a sick and dying world. If you are a Christian couple, then your marriage is a symbolic representation of the love between God and the church. Ephesians 5:21-33 (also Revelation 21:1-7) states that God’s love for His church can be symbolically represented by a godly marriage. When your Christian marriage is working well, you are symbolically reflecting God’s love to the world and the respect that is due Him for that love.
You might say, “So what”? Well, I think there is a HUGE “so what”. First, if God has these intentions for your marriage, then He will empower you to achieve these goals. He will be in your corner to help you meet your spouse’s needs, to grow more like Him in the process, and to get to a place where your marriage is a witness to the world. NOTHING is impossible with His power and giving up should not be an option (see my blogs on transformation and transformation #2 if you think otherwise).
Second, if I am right, then the focus on meeting each other’s needs is “right on”. We sometimes shy away from meeting needs as if that is too hard, too much effort, not worth the effort, etc. Yet, it is ONLY through the meeting of needs that the dynamic relationship you are seeking will come to fruition. It is amazing to me that, when presented with the option, NO SPOUSE has ever stated to me that meeting their spouse’s need was not worth the love they were seeking in return.
Third, and finally, if I am right, then the picture of God’s marriage for you is one of passion (Song of Songs), meeting needs (Adam and his needs), growth in maturity (Eph 5:21f), and dynamism (John 10:10) so much that it witnesses to a dying world (Phil 2:15).
And, aren’t those characteristics a lot like the romance novels I wrote about in my last blog? Really, now, who needs a fictional novel when you can have God in your corner creating that kind of passion and growth for real in your own marriage? Get strapped in — we’re in for a real adventure !
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