Marriage is being over-rated in the new millennium. How can that be? Of course human marriage is a type of the marriage between Christ and the Church, His bride, and so it must be held in highest esteem. But, What is marriage? Human marriage is a relationship instituted by God to provide for companionship in life and also to provide for procreation, nurturing, and training of children born into the marriage. As such, marriage is a process in which we, as humans, creatively cooperate with God to further His kingdom here on earth.
When marriage is held to be something of an end in itself, it loses its meaning. Marriages will never be perfect. We should enter marriage with the direction of and in the fear of God, our Father. We should allow Him to lead us to and in marriage. We should think of marriage as a relationship through which God has chosen to bless us, the Church and the world. When we think that way, we can place the difficulties that arise in proper perspective – not perfect but a wonderful way to serve the Lord together.
Marriage is not about me – marriage is about God and what He wants to do in and through me. I must, first of all, bless my spouse. Secondly I must bless our children. Their needs come before mine as a husband and father. My task is to raise healthy, happy, Godly children who will be well balanced and diligent, will love and obey parents and God and will love those around them and be a blessing to the world.
When marriage is “over-rated” then people demand that marriage serve them as individuals. This is always destructive. It does not allow me to focus on being God’s person – it focuses on me and my “needs.” The truth is that most of the time my needs must be set aside so as to meet the needs of others. Marriage is not to be served. Marriage is to serve.
Marriage provides intimacy for women and men in a secure and committed relationship. Marriage provides many earthly pleasures. Pleasure binds us to the person with whom the pleasure is experienced. That pleasure bond makes husband and wife one flesh. They are to be one in heart, mind, and body.
Marriage is also to provide for procreation – the birth and nurture of children. Children have and need a mother and a father. That is God’s plan.
Marriage is the first commission. It was before the great commission. It is part of the great commission. Your children shall “speak with the enemies in the gate.” Marriage is God’s way of providing for that need.
Do not expect marriage to be perfect. You are not and your marriage will not be either. Do not demand of marriage what it is not intended to be. Marriage is God’s plan. It will not be perfect. But it is the way in which God blesses His creation. Marry in the Lord and bless and serve your spouse and children. That is God’s way.
Except the LORD build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he gives his beloved sleep.
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.