People Want More From Their Marriage
We can go from spouse to spouse but God’s universal truth about marriage will still prevail. We will not be able to change our spouse, no matter how much we want it. That is not God’s will for marriage.
If you want a great marriage, forget about living happily ever after. Is that even possible? We have learned that great marriages are solidified by letting God love us first, loving one another second, and focusing the relationship on God’s standards instead of our individual happiness. Happiness is subjective even for the person who wants it. It is flighty, often changing based on situations, people, and moods. Society conditions us about what happiness means to us individually. What does society know about a great marriage when the divorce rate for America is over 55%? I believe we all have learned from society that happiness in some loose sense is shallow and simplistic.
Every successful relationship is successful for the same exact reasons. People have to be together for the right reasons. Men are wired for respect and women for love (such as protection and leadership). Building a marriage around respect and love, the couple must learn how to communicate in a healthy and functional manner. Think about it? Even the truth of God’s word will be rejected if it isn’t communicated well. So, in marriage, communication is beyond important; it is a deal-breaker to remaining married. Talk about what hurts you, heals you, annoys you, satisfies you.
If couples become proponents of James 1:19-20, they could create a great marriage.
“Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God's righteousness.”
Think about your marriage or past marriage. Perhaps the main reason you divorced was because your spouse had too many bad traits: adultery, abuse, laziness, poor money manager, expected more than you could/would give, poor parent, poor communicator, etc. You might be contemplating divorcing your current spouse for these same reasons.
We can go from spouse to spouse but God’s universal truth about marriage will still prevail. We will not be able to change our spouse, no matter how much we want it. That is not God’s will for marriage. We have to accept their pluses and minuses or be honest about divorce. This is one of the tell-tale signs why the divorce rate continues to mushroom in society. We want a great marriage, but our spouse has many deficiencies. Now add to our spouse’s deficiencies our own minuses, and the road toward divorce has been paved unless we choose to yield the right of way to God’s universal standards for marriage.
Who created marriage? God (Genesis 2:24). Who established the standards and rules for marriage? God (Genesis 2:18-25). Who should determine whom we should marry? God (2 Corinthians 6:14). What are some of His standards?
1) Marriage is our primary relationship – after allowing God to love us, we reciprocate His love inwardly to ourselves, and then we are better equipped to love externally others in our life. When it comes to marriage, our spouse should be first on our love list.
2) Marriage is a permanent relationship – we go into a lifelong covenant with our spouse; that is the sum total of being married, until death do we part. God permits divorce on the basis of sexual immorality (Matthew 5:31-32; 19:9) or spousal abandonment (1 Corinthians 7:15).
3) Marriage is to be an exclusive relationship – God’s standard is for us to be monogamous. We ought to give up past soul-ties, lovers, and special friends. We ought to be integral to our spouse sexually, emotionally, physically, and spiritually, not giving ourselves to others.
4) Marriage is a picture our relationship with Jesus – God created marriage for a purpose bigger than itself: it is a picture of the believer’s relationship with Jesus. Here is a justifiable reason why believers should not marry unbelievers because their standards of living will be incompatible.
He intended our marriage to be an earthly picture of the spiritual relationship that exists between Christ and the church. For example, the sexual consummation of our marriage represents our exclusive relationship with Jesus and giving ourselves to Him totally (Philippians. 3:8, 10). Sexual consummation makes a husband and wife one flesh just like we are one spirit with Jesus (1 Corinthians. 6:17).
Another example for marriage is that the church is subject to Christ. He is our leader. The wife is also subject to her husband. He is her leader (Ephesians 5:22-24). As with Christ loving the church, and giving Himself to it, so does a husband loves his wife and gives himself to her (Ephesians 5:25).
Lastly, our marriages will oftentimes result with children. The same is true for the church’s union with Christ. Jesus’ church is the result of many salvations and spiritual offspring to God’s glory (Hebrews. 2:10, 13).
We should want more from our marriage. God wants more from them too. He set high standards to bring a man and a woman together over the course of their lives for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, through the ups and downs as a picture of Jesus’ commitment and love to His church until we see him at death or His second coming.