By Dr. Joe Wasmond
Have you ever thought of marriage as a refining process? Or a divine conspiracy to mold your character? Did you think that marriage was going to be easy or solve all your spiritual, emotional, sexual needs or other issues? That God is going to allow certain events to happen in your life that will cause (should cause) you to grow and develop into the man and woman He wants you to become?
A Christian marriage is a total commitment of two people to the person of Jesus Christ and to one another. It is a commitment in which there is no holding back of anything. Marriage is a pledge of mutual fidelity; it is a partnership of mutual subordination. A Christian marriage is similar to a solvent, a freeing up of the man and woman to be themselves and become all God intends for them to become. Marriage is the refining process that God will use to have us develop into the man and woman He wants us to become.
An adequate concept of what marriage is really all about is the key to building a beautiful life-long partnership. Are you ready to get your hands dirty together, no matter how long you’ve been married or how difficult/impossible your present state of affairs seems to you? Are you finally ready to pay the cost to jettison your blatant selfishness, to renounce any non-biblical agreements you’ve made about one another such as;
· Don’t rock the boat
· It’s too much work—I just don’t have the emotional energy
· He/she will never change or validate me
· Don’t let anyone ever hurt you again
· Just settle for what you have
· You married the wrong person
· You would be happier with someone else
· I don’t want to be married anymore
· Things are never going to get better—you are always doing this
· I can get my emotional, sexual or spiritual needs met somewhere else or by myself?
Nothing can stand in your way to a Christ-centered marriage other than yourselves! What would it look like for the two of you to find your way to something beautiful?
“For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” (Gen. 2:25).
We all know loving is hard. Marriage is hard. It is opposed. The devil hates marriage. He hates the beautiful picture of Jesus and His bride that it represents. He hates love and life and beauty in all its forms. The world hates marriage. It hates unity and faithfulness and monogamy. Our flesh is not our ally here either—it rebels when we put others before ourselves. Our flesh hates dying.
But God loves marriage! The Holy Trinity is for it. God loves intimacy and friendship and unity and self-sacrifice and laughter and pleasure and joy and the picture of the Sacred Romance that you have the opportunity to present to a watching world. God is with you. He is for you!
Marriage is fabulously hard. Everybody who’s married knows this. Though years into marriage it still catches us off guard, all of us. And newly married couples, when they discover how hard it is, they seem genuinely surprised. Shocked and disheartened by the fact. “Are we doing something wrong? Did I marry the right person? The influences that lure us into marriage—romance, love, passion, sex, longing, companionship—they seem so far from the actual reality of married life and we fear that we have made a colossal mistake, caught the wrong bus, missed our flight.
· Marriage is fabulously hard for everyone. Don’t let this throw you.
· The Gospel is an offer of hope and a divine opportunity to learn to serve.
· To find your way to something beautiful, it helps to begin with desire. What is it that you long for in marriage?
· We live in a love story, set in a world at war. What makes you think you’re immune?
· Your marriage plays a crucial role in that Larger Story.
Do you both truly believe in, agree to commit to this statement?
“For better or whatever we will be in this marriage and life together – FOREVER!”
If so, then all things are not only forgivable and redeemable, but also reconcilable.”
You can contact Dr. Wasmond at JWasmond@TDS.net.
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