The purpose of this blog is to remind us about the real purpose for marriage. As we approach Valentine's Day we can get swept up in the culture of putting romance as the primary motivator in our marriages and lose site of what truly matters. Your marriage isn’t about you. It’s not about you being content, in love, or even happy... it's about something deeper. Your marriage is about God. It was created by Him and for His pleasure.
Marriage is by God
God created marriage. In Genesis 2:18-25 we see that God created marriage. In that passage we see several things:
- It’s not good for man to be alone. Why? Because God is not alone. He is triune in nature. He is constantly in fellowship with Himself. In order for us to operate in a similar way, we need someone close to us, who we can fellowship with constantly. So God made marriage so that we both, husband and wife, would have something that resembled His nature.
- God created a suitable helper. This stands as an important point in the story. God made a suitable helper. God made a wife. God created woman and brought her before Adam and gave her away to be his bride. In this action, God became the first to give away a bride in this new institution He called marriage.
- Adam received his wife with awe. He exclaimed joyfully that she was part of him and they were one when together. Do you feel the same way about your spouse? Do you feel more complete when they are with you - because they are part of you? This closeness is part of what is intended by marriage. We muddle it up with sin, anger, and strife, destroying the beauty of marriage.
- Marriage is separate from other relationships. What God has joined together, let no man separate. He made them male and female therefore a man will leave his parents and cleave to his wife. Marriage is special. It is different. It is protected by God.
God created marriage and gave the first bride away. He instituted marriage as an illustration of His own nature and intertwined two hearts into one. He made it to be unbreakable.
As I ponder this truth, I am struck by how much marriage reflects God’s triune nature. We are created in His image, and marriage exists to further show who He is. God created marriage for Himself and for His glory. When we live this rightly, there is peace, joy, and contentment in our marital lives. But when we don’t, stress increases in every facet of our lives.
Marriage is for God
Speaking of this in his book This Momentary Marriage, John Piper said:
The ultimate thing to see about marriage is that it exists for God’s glory.
Marriage exists to display the beauty of God before all mankind. It exists to put God on display for all to see. It turns us into beacons pointing the way to God.
Marriage demonstrates not only His triune nature, but it also illustrates His relationship to us. Ephesians 5 shows us that marriage reflects the relationship between Jesus and the church. Husbands are supposed to lead like Jesus, love like Jesus, serve like Jesus, and sacrifice like Jesus. Wives are supposed to submit to and respect her husband just like Jesus responds to the Father.
Marriage is for God because it esteems Him and demonstrates to you, your spouse, and the watching world that this is someone worth honoring. Marriage is for God, because when it's done rightly, it pleases Him and esteems Him highly.
What do we do with this?
When we, in our marriages, live ungodly lives we defame God and trample His name through the muck and mire. We declare that His institution and the things it represents aren’t important. We make a mockery of God.
When we, in our marriages, live godly lives we glorify God and uplift His name by the purifying of our lives and the sanctity of our hearts. Marriages that are Christ honoring involve mutual submission and honest reflection on who God is and what He desires us to become.
Look at your marriage and think. Do you bring glory to God by they way you treat your spouse? By the way you respond when your spouse sins against you? Are you working to become all that God wants you to be by meditating on His truth and striving to walk worthy of the call He placed on your heart? Are you growing daily in bearing spiritual fruits?
This is the difficult and good call that God has placed on us: that we would continual grow in all knowledge, that we would walk worthy of Him, pleasing Him, and bearing fruit (Colossians 1:9-10). Those fruits will fill you with unsurpassable peace, joy, love, patience, kindness, and self-control. In those fruits, you'll find more hope than you've every experienced before. When your contentedness, love, and happiness come from God you'll overflow with those emotions in a way romance and passion can't compare with.
God made your marriage about Him. God wants you to put your relationship with Him above all, and to put your spouse’s needs and wants above your own. When you strive to live in accordance with that, you begin to live out something God calls good. It's time to make a big deal of something God calls good - your marriage. Make it reflect Jesus.
Marriage is a momentary gift. Make the best of it.