I’ve heard a lot of advice dispensed before a coming Christian marriage. It seems they either talk about how “the shine will wear off” and “marriage is hard and demands commitment”, or it talks about how “marriage is the best” and “you’re so lucky not to be alone anymore”.
As Christians we are called to view everything through a different lens. The black and white way of viewing marriage feels easier than holding the messy middle. Marriage is more than the fairytale view of romance bliss, and sexual intimacy juxtaposed against miserable conjoined existence that must be endured or escaped at all costs.
The Joy of Christian Marriage
Marriage can and should be incredible. It’s the thing we have that is closest to feel the connection between Christ and his church!! The excitement you feel before walking down the isle is how we long for him.The loving protection the groom to be craves to be for his bride is symbolic of Christ’s loving protection of the church.
- Marriage is a gift, the antidote for loneliness. It provides safety among strangers.
- Marriage gives us a home and the gift of belonging and place.
- A companion to share years of jokes and joys. A partner in parenting.
- The person who can understand the deepest insecurities of our heart and will hold them with gentleness.
- Marriage in view of the gospel is to hold the dichotomy of what should be, and what is not yet daily.
What Went Wrong
We were created with hearts that long to know those joys and perfection. We were created to live in a perfect, sinless world with a perfect sinless partner. That desire is not wrong. It is that exact desire and the recognition that things have gone so horribly wrong that makes us turn to a Savior!
- Oh and how often they do go wrong either in our own homes, or the homes of those we love.
- There are tears shed at the thoughtless deeds done in a thoughtless moment.
- We are annoyed when harsh words are spoken.
- Our hearts chafe against having to sacrifice what we want to make another happy.
- Tears are sobbed into pillows at night for misunderstandings, and lack of harmony!
- We ask over and over “why Lord? Why does it have to happen this way?”
They bring deep sorrow because these things SHOULD never be.
The petty wrongs turn from anticipated trials, to destroying us, and our relationship when we have placed marriage up as an idol. It is so easy to make a good thing, the ultimate thing. Instead of allowing Christ to be what fills our heart completely, we look to another to satisfy us.
Hope in Christian Marriage
Christian marriage is just one more piece of life. In some ways everything about life changes when we say, “I do”, and in other ways nothing changes. The same sins and trials we have bumped against in the church, in your family, with your friends, in your heart, tempers, trials before marriage will be bumped against now, and some different trials will be faced.
But one thing doesn’t ever change God is your God. The one who has carried you this far will carry you into the future and into the promised rest of eternity when this life work for you has finished.
If you liked this, you might also like this article on parenting. Or, see which marriage book my husband and I both appreciate right now)