I brought to your attention over the weekend that I’m going to be focusing on February as a Love Month! Okay, I get that this seems cliché, but I want to go deeper!
I want to get into true love....not the lust that society has convinced us is love. I want to talk about the details of marriage, the purpose of marriage, the pitfalls, the ups, even....the bedroom! ;-)
What is great about this is I think all of us can join in this month! If you’re single, that is totally okay...hopefully, you get some new insight and become comfortable and secure in your status right now! You can learn what marriage means and get an idea of how to start a relationship off right....for success!
I’m no expert....I’ve only got so many years in this marriage of mine, but I’m talking from a Biblical standpoint. I’m talking as a woman who HAS gone through some great trials in marriage. I’m talking from an angle as a couple who have decided that we are giving our whole life...marriage and family to God! And wow...how that changes things!
None of us can say honestly that we’ve had perfect marriages! We are human. We do things that irritate each other; we go through dry periods emotionally, mentally, spiritually and sexually! We all handle situations differently. But with Christ at the center of your marriage....you can have an amazingly fulfilling long life!
Today, I want to talk about the Purpose of Marriage!
I know so many couples say that the first few years of marriage were absolute bliss. It was heavenly perfection....so they thought. But I can honestly say, that wasn’t the case for Hubby and I.
We faced a lot of opposition that we created for ourselves. When I landed in South Africa, we were living very different life paths. I had been focused on God and was convinced Hubby was my journey according to His Will. Hubby was living the life of a young, single adult. When I landed here, I immediately felt emotions I was never prepared for. Being separated from my peers and mentors in Christ made me feel alone and abandoned. I started turning towards the world again in an attempt to “fit in.”
Hubby and I also barely knew each other! If you haven’t before, you can read about our Love Story, but so you get the drift....when I landed in South Africa Hubby and I had known each other approximately 7 months and had only ever met 3 times in person! We took a chance, and yes at that time it was a mix of lust and doing what I felt was God’s plan for my life. Love hadn’t developed yet, although we swore we were in love.
Then you add the cultural differences and my homesickness.....we were just a mess to be honest! And really, there were a couple of times we weren’t sure we were going to make it.
But marriage is a covenant of God....and He wasn’t allowing ours to break!
Marriage is first and foremost a covenant. A covenant is not the contract that society paints it to be today. A contract can be manipulated, changed, and even broken. A contract is brought up to protect the signing parties. A covenant is a permanent commitment. It is sealed and unbreakable! A covenant is built and nurtured on trust!
See....it’s quite common for couples to rush into marriage! The idea of riding off into happily ever after is almost too much. Couples feel that rush of those first few months/years and want that to last a lifetime! They go into marriage imagining that all their needs (or wants) will be met. They imagine a life full of romantic courting, cuddly-coos, and movie like bedroom romps! Unfortunately, as you get to know each other more intimately, those feelings become a roller coaster ride of ups and downs and the drops in between.
The reality is that we are forgetting the purpose of marriage! It isn’t about me or Hubby...but us as one and God!
So, Shana, what are you saying? That we’re looking at it wrong? Well, yes, my friends...we are. Me too....
Marriage wasn’t designed to get our needs met! Did I just say that? Yes, my girls, I’m sorry but if you are in a relationship expecting him to fulfill your needs....it’s probably not working! Mostly, because he is probably expecting the same thing!
Marriage is designed as a picture of Christ and His Bride (the church). Ephesians 5:23-32 explains it beautifully. I’m not going to go deep into the different roles today, that is for later, but rather just look at our perspective.
Wives, we are to represent the body of Christ. We are to submit to our husbands as the church submits to Christ. (Please, don’t put me on the stake yet, that submit word isn’t near as close to a swear word as you think!) Husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church!
When you take the full passage into account, why wouldn’t we want to submit to a man knowing that everything he is doing is out of love for us! Okay, but enough going into detail....our marriage is ideally supposed to show the world what the love of Christ and relationship of the church is supposed to look like!
Can you imagine the amount of sinners we could win for Christ if they could truly see His love being lived out everyday?
Marriage is designed to have us become more like Christ! That’s right.....our differences can actually push us to face reality and submit to Christ. How’s that? If we are in marriage for the right reasons and accept the first two points....that marriage is irreversible and designed to show the world the love of Christ...then we’ll be forced to face our pitfalls and correct them!
You cannot have a successful marriage if you are selfless and focused on self fulfillment. Our purpose is to fulfill the needs in each other! When we step away from our selfishness and turn to a spirit of giving....we become more like Christ and create a more successful marriage!
I cannot have a successful marriage if I am constantly protecting my pride! I am unable to submit to my husband if I am prideful and my husband cannot love me first if he is protecting his own pride. Therefore, we fail to show the world the love of Christ.
As a marriage continues, you will be forced to face all forms of immorality such as greed, gluttony, control issues, lust and envy. Marriage requires you to face these issues and overcome them. 1 Corinthians 7:1-9 clearly refers to sexual immorality but if you take it on a bigger picture, it’s really effective. It is better to marry and face these sins together, than live in the world alone!
In the very beginning of the Bible (Genesis 2:18-24), we can see that marriage was designed for fellowship and intimacy. God saw that Adam was lonely and needed a partner and developed woman for this purpose. Going back to Ephesians 5:23-32 we are urged not to withhold intimacy from each other as our bodies are not our own but that of each other! Marriage is the ultimate fulfillment if considered properly.
Alternatively, we can also see that marriage is designed for fruitfulness (1 Peter 3:7) and protection (Ephesians 5:25, Titus 2:4-5 and Malachi 2:15).
Valentines day is upon us and as a society we are quick to say we don’t want to be “alone” on a day to celebrate love. But we aren’t truly, alone. Marriage is a representation of Christ’s ultimate love, therefore you can never be alone if your heart is in Christ!
Spend this Valentines day focused on what is the purpose of marriage and how we need to work on our own hearts to fulfill this purpose, whether currently married or single!
Is there a particular area of the purpose of marriage you have the most difficulty accepting? How have your misperceptions of marriage negatively impacted your relationship? Do you believe that the love of Christ in you can heal any situation?
Can Hubby and I pray for you and your marriage (or your future marriage)? Or possibly you know someone who could benefit from a miraculous miracle in their marriage? Let us pray for you! Go to our Prayer Power page now!
Check out my highlight sponsor this month!!