Viewing Marriage Realistically

Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.” ― Neil Gaiman

Closeup of beautiful young couple embracing and laughing; Shutterstock ID 69135130; PO: test; Job: dev; Client: drone

I came across a wonderful article on the subject of marriage some time ago that I would like to share with you. The post is from FOCUS ON THE FAMILY, and written by Carol Heffernan.

“We have to stop asking of marriage what God never designed it to give — perfect happiness, conflict-free living, and idolatrous obsession…

Instead, we can appreciate what God designed marriage to provide: partnership, spiritual intimacy and the ability to pursue God — together. So, what is the most common misconception Christians have about marriage?

“Finding a ‘soul mate’ — someone who will complete us.” “The problem with looking to another human to complete us is that, spiritually speaking, it’s idolatry. We are to find our fulfillment and purpose in God . . . and if we expect our spouse to be ‘God’ to us, he or she will fail every day. No person can live up to such expectations.”

Everyone has bad days, yells at his or her spouse, or is downright selfish. Despite these imperfections, God created the husband and wife to steer each other in His direction.

Here’s an example: Whenever a person forgives the other . . . and accepts them, the other person learns to receive God’s forgiveness and acceptance as well. In that moment, God’s love is being modeled…, which reveals God’s mercy, and helps the person to see with their own eyes… a very real spiritual reality.”

While it’s easy to see why God designed an other-centered union for a me-centered world, living that way is a challenge. So when bills pile up, communication breaks down and you’re just plain irritated with your husband or wife, these reminders will help ease the tension:

God created marriage as a loyal partnership between one man and one woman.
Marriage is the firmest foundation for building a family.
God designed sexual expression to help married couples build intimacy.
Marriage mirrors God’s covenant relationship with His people.

We see this last parallel throughout the Bible. For instance, Jesus refers to Himself as the “bridegroom” and to the kingdom of heaven as a “wedding banquet.”

These points demonstrate that God’s purposes for marriage extend far beyond personal happiness. God isn’t against happiness per se, but marriage promotes even higher values.

“God did not create marriage just to give us a pleasant means of repopulating the world and providing a steady societal institution to raise children. He planted marriage among humans as yet another signpost pointing to His own eternal, spiritual existence.”

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