I will acknowledge that writing about marriage (as much as I enjoy that) is a little like shooting at a moving target, especially when the writer is married (which I am).
Before you were married, loving that special someone looked easy, right? Experience and growth in marriage changes how you look at this important topic. But learning is important in any endeavor, so stick with me while we discuss “righting” this thing called “marriage”.
You see, the devil’s goal is to ruin the metaphor of Christ and the Church, and he has done a fairly good job. But the truth is “That if God be for us, who can be against us?”
So why the big deal on a “right marriage”?
There is a lot of confusion about what a right marriage is. Getting marriage right is important and evokes God’s eternal blessing like little else. Malachi 2 is clear about this blessing. Godly seed (children) come from a marriage done the right way. Because marriage and family are the key components of society, this is not a thing we want to trifle with.
We need God’s smile on marriage, and we can have it. However we must be willing to pay the price, even if the price is high. A good marriage may not always be easy, but it follows a simple truth: following God’s simple, but important, instructions that He gave in His eternal living Word.
Righting marriage is about truly displaying and following God’s design for Marriage. The thoughts in this article look at marriage in two ways: as a metaphor, and as an experience to bring us closer to God’s design for us. We need this close relationship to make us more useful and usable, even if it makes us uncomfortable at times.
A good marriage makes us more effective in the rest of our relationships. Men need the perspective and balance that women bring, and women need a man’s perspective as well. Yes, these perspectives will sometimes be different and frustrating, but they are helpful.
Another quick question before we get started: Why is marriage called “Holy Matrimony”?
Do you as a Christian find it difficult to really walk in holiness? Are you ever tempted to choose your own truth to live by and your own path to walk? Are you free to choose your own thinking or your definition of holiness?
We will discuss this more in future articles, but I can tell you that the Designer of marriage has a lot to say about this. The really great thing is that if we have messed up, we can confess our mistakes and receive awesome redemption! But we must be willing to live by His instructions.
So join me in looking at nine key ideas on how we can keep working on “righting our marriage.”
Note: These nine ideas will be spread out over three blog posts.
1. Finding Oneness
If we find our oneness in Christ we spare someone else the impossible task of making us perfect. Have you ever heard of perfect oneness between two sinners? I haven’t either.
Too often our problem is that we expect more from our spouse than he/she can deliver. Oneness means giving up your own way and a good part of your identity. This was not something I understood well when I found the one I wanted to marry.
So why would you even pursue this oneness in marriage?
The Bible begins and ends with a wedding, and many weddings are celebrated between the Bible’s covers. The first wedding unites the very first man and woman. The last wedding is the unity of Christ and the Church, which we call eternal redemption.
God designed us, particularly men, to need a teammate. God made it so that our teammate will equip us to better serve others. He said “It is not good for the man to be alone.” This tells me that a pre-fall principle is that a man alone is in bad company.
So how did God provide the first man his teammate? Genesis 1 and 2 tell us that God took a rib and made a woman, and brought this woman to the man. God then declares that the two shall be one flesh.
So how do we find our missing rib?
It’s really much more about finding a unified mission than the perfect person. We are all looking for the “rest of ourselves”. We often think of a man finding a woman, but a woman also needs a man. I like to think that we are at least handy to have. Yes, it is true and important that we seek God’s timing and wisdom for this thing called ‘marriage’. That is the purpose of parents and a legacy, and also why stable families beget stable families.
2. Finding Balance
If you are single, ask yourself this before you strike out on a search for someone to complete you: Are you OK with remaining single?
Are we ok with the things we cannot change about ourselves? Are we willing to change the things we can?
Honestly, I was not really OK with being single, but I was somewhat OK with God’s timing, as long as He provided on my schedule. Looking back, I can see that this was actually not being very OK…
What I did not realize then, and sometimes forget now, is that I was looking for balance. That should have scared me a lot, but sadly I was too innocent to realize what balance looked like. Nor did I realize how uncomfortable it would be to be balanced by my wife.
But do you know what surprised me?
That my wife needed me too! Who knew? God knew, and I am so thankful for His perfect wisdom, although I will admit there are times I wonder about His wisdom. And I think my wife does too!
3. Finding The Right Person.
We are set apart for each other.
Much could be said about where to look for our spouse, but assuming we are preparing ourselves correctly to be the right person, we will find it easier to meet the right person. Not a perfect person, mind you, but the right one.
Remember that we are finding what will become our straight and narrow. When we settle on a person, we narrow our focus to that person and that relationship. We willingly make that important, and it should be important.
But suddenly we have and hold what we are called to love: our spouse. And at the altar we willingly promise to love them perfectly.
Loving our spouse perfectly; is that even possible?
Maybe you should review your marriage vows to see just how impossible it is? We should not be under any illusions that the right person will mitigate all our issues. Not at all, but more on that in another post.
In fact, the right spouse will confront our foolish sinfulness at times. They will also have different preferences in many cases; sometimes it may be a matter of right and wrong, and sometimes not.
This diverse thought on issues and opinions sometimes feels more separating than unifying, but hang on, because it can be helpful.
These ideas and topics may seem ideal to you, but maybe you are struggling to know how you can get away with your spouse to talk. We have designed The Little Stone Cottage as a romantic getaway specifically for this reason. Please contact us today to learn more and book your trip to an forgettable weekend!
To be continued...