Sadly, I believe our world has strayed from the true meaning of God’s plan for marriage. We have turned into a “me” centered society that looks out only for its selfish desires, and that attitude has seeped into the holy institution of marriage. We only want to be ‘happily married.’
Did God give us marriage for our own happiness, or did He intend it to teach us how to draw closer to Him? If you’re looking strictly for happiness (and they lived happily ever after…), you will not survive the brutal desert we often trek through in a marriage relationship. If you follow the path God plans for marriage, though, the joy and happiness will follow.
I’ve always said that our marriage relationship closely parallels our relationship with God. In both, we need to sacrifice “self” and put the plans of God and needs of our spouse ahead of our own. I’ve come to realize, though, that those paths should be intertwined, traveled together as one. They are inseparable. How better to test your faith in God and desire to do His will than in a marriage relationship?
Paul said, “It is better for a man not to marry.” With good reason – it is much easier to live a life for God without the confines of a relationship to get in the way, to distract you. So including that relationship in your walk with God, not separating it, makes sense. There WILL be trials in your marriage. When God is part of the equation, in every move you make, every word you speak with your spouse, those trials are easily handled.
When we first find the person we want to share our lives with, that relationship is usually in a state of euphoria. We are so madly in love and can’t stand to be apart. Our happiness is like nothing we’ve ever experienced. And so, we get married and expect it to last like that – forever.
The world would have us believe happiness should be a constant part of marriage. We watch movies and television programs where couples part when that giddy love wears off, when it becomes work, and they no longer feel happy. They must have fallen out of love.
Fifty percent of married couples don’t stick around to discover the true depths of love God intended for marriage. That first stage that brings us together, that “head-over-heals” stage, is only the icing on the cake to bring us to an immeasurable kind of love that only comes through trials and commitment. Without that first stage, who would marry?
I will be writing about love for the next few weeks and what it really means in a marriage. We have to get away from the idea that love is about butterflies in your stomach and a skip in your step. It is completely possible to continue that aspect of love in a marriage, but it takes work and dedication. Most of all it takes commitment to your marriage.
As we should be committed to following God’s plan for our life, so should we be committed to making our marriage the holy institute God intended it to be.