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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

The Big Picture

It's all marriage this and marriage that. What's the big deal, anyway?

I mean, the definition of marriage seems to be up for debate these days, anyway. Not only is the definition changing, but fewer people are choosing to get married, and even fewer are staying married.

As Christians, what's the point?

Marriage is bigger than culture. 

Somehow, our society decided along the way that we have the option to define marriage. We think that the laws we set, the limits we decide, our own dictations define what marriage really is.

But see, marriage didn't start with us.

This "institution" wasn't created by our culture. It can't be a cultural relic, can't become outdated.

God created marriage.

Just look at the Bible. The Bible begins and ends with a wedding, after all- first in the garden of Eden between Adam and Eve, and then in Revelation between Christ and the Church. Marriage bookends all of human history

Marriage was God's idea in the first place.

And what God puts into place, He regulates. Not us.

The greatest enemy of marriage isn't a changing culture- it's me.


Sometimes we think the greatest enemy of marriage is adultery, or losing passion for one another, or focusing too much on the kids. Sometimes we push it even further outside our own front doors and think that same-sex marriage is the enemy, no-fault divorce is the enemy, or media is the enemy.

But the true enemy of marriage is selfishness.

And that's really scary, because I am very, very selfish.

When I got married, I kind of thought that I'd be more... fulfilled. I thought I would have someone around to listen to me, to make me smile, to help me with the stuff of life. (See the issue there? Me, me, me!)

It took me a while to figure this next point out, and so I want to give you a jump start on it.

Marriage is about nakedness and vulnerability. Your husband will see all of your sin, and you'll see all of his. And you know what? He will have the right to point it out.

Marriage gives you the opportunity to repent, to serve, to grow in holiness. You want what is best for one another. Unfortunately, sometimes that's difficult. You may need to be humbled before you can learn.

Zeke is not perfect. He has his faults, to be sure. Of course, I didn't know all those faults before we got married. And after I found out just how imperfect he is, I had two choices. I could throw in the towel, or work at it anyway.

It is work.  It really really is. And sometimes that work is rewarding and all sunshiney and glorious. More often, though, it hurts.

I wasn't prepared for the hurting part.

The first time Zeke sat down with me and told me that my behavior was in the wrong, I reacted badly. We'd spent the day with my sisters... and my sisters sometimes get the best of me. They got the best of me that afternoon, anyway. I just did things the way I always did things- I snapped back with a hurtful, sarcastic comment or two.

On the drive home, Zeke called me out on it.

Who was he to think he understood the complicated relationship between my sisters and I? His family has issues, too! Who does he think he is?! 

Well, he thought he was my husband. He's dedicated to making me a better person (just as I am to him). And sometimes, yes. That hurts.

As you're planning for this new life- this new marriage- don't fall into the trap that your marriage should always be pain-free, full of joy and good lighting. That's just not the way it is. Your marriage will result in hurt feelings, in disappointment, in some confrontation. Things won't always seem so wonderful.

But you will grow. You'll grow towards holiness and become a better person for Christ.

That's the big picture.

If you're called to marriage, remember this. Marriage isn't about you. It's not about having all your needs met (only Jesus can do that, honey). It's about learning to love as you have been loved by your Creator.

Will it be hard? Yes.

Will it be worth it?



This post is part of a series- make your engagement a time of intentional growth to prepare you for marriage, not just a time of planning for a wedding!

"Like" A Little Wife's Happy Life on Facebook to catch more Intentional Engagement posts!

Other Posts in the Intentional Engagement Series:

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