I feel sorry for marriages nowadays.
I really do.
“Wait! That’s no way to start a blog!”
Perhaps it isn’t, but, that’s what my heart is feeling as I make yet another honest blog post for my faithful audience.
Ahem! I feel sorry for marriages nowadays!
Yeah! I said it! Well…actually, yeah! I wrote it!
It seems like, everywhere I look, I see a very destructive mindset that people have that promotes selfishness and eventually leads spouses to divorce.
If I listen to songs…BAM!
There goes that destructive mindset.
When my wife and I are watching one of our favorite shows,(Married At First Sight) BAM!
There goes that destructive mindset.
What destructive mindset am I referring to?
It’s a mindset that more or less says, “you are to be committed to giving me what I want, when I want, to make me happy, and you are not to change who I am. You are to accept me exactly as I am.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
What Is Marriage In The Bible
In Malachi 2:14, marriage is described as a holy covenant before God.
In other words, marriage is not a contract in which two people get together under the promise of “you give me what I want to be happy and I’ll give you what you want to be happy.”
Marriage is a covenant, a spiritual commitment, a sacred pledge that two people make before God to be deeply accountable to each other.
Biblical marriage is “we-centered”.
An unbiblical marriage is “me-centered”.
In biblical marriage, two believers are focused on serving each other, not themselves. (if you are mostly focused on your happiness in marriage, then you are selfishly using marriage to serve yourself and your fleshly desires)
We understand the idea of serving each other with this verse, “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.” Colossian 3:18
Notice the verse doesn’t say, “Wives, make sure your husbands do everything you want that will make you happy. After all, happy wife, happy life.”
Notice that the verse doesn’t say, “Husbands, make sure that your wife does whatever you want, because, you are the leader of your home and she must obey you.”
Biblical marriage has the idea that “great love is based on serving someone and meeting their needs.” (of course this is assuming that their wants and needs align with the character of God)
I love how Pastor Tim Keller describes marriage. Pastor Keller says that Biblical marriage provides an opportunity for “deep character change.”
Without deep character change, a marriage has no chance!
I mean, think about it.
You have two imperfect people, making a commitment to be with each other till death do them part.
Am I the only one thinking of the potential problems that may arise?
We are sinful creatures. All of us.
And we need deep character change.
Doubt we are sinful creatures?
Check this out.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—
As sinful creatures we often:
- choose lust over love
- choose lies over truth
- choose fun over responsibility
- choose dessert over vegetables
- choose alcohol over water
- choose sin over righteousness
Get the point?
A Biblical marriage involves two believers committed to the following, “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, [a]acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Romans 12:1
What the Bible Doesn’t Say About Marriage
The Bible does not say that happiness is what marriage is all about.
Where does that idea come from?
Sure, people may say marriage is about happiness, twist bible verses about marriage around, and make the Bible say whatever they want it to say.
“See?! God said let there be light! Light means happiness…and…and… that light of happiness is what a husband and wife should be for each other. Or why get married?”
There are no bible verses about marriage that soundly and biblically teach that marriage is about happiness.
It’s not there.
Unhappiness in Marriage
If marriage isn’t about happiness that creates a lot of questions.
Let me try to provide some answers to those potential questions.
- Does that mean I am supposed to be married and unhappy? No. One should be married and happy. (I am!) My point is, the primary focus of marriage isn’t your happiness. Your joy should primarily come from your relationship with God. The better that is, the better your life and relationships are.
- What is marriage primarily about? Serving God, deep character change, and providing a stable structure/environment for raising families.
- Should I not care about my happiness in marriage? Yes. You should care. But, the focus of marriage should be on two spouses serving each other’s spiritually aligned wants and needs and not serving individual selfish desires.
- What’s wrong with two people getting married based only on the fact they make each other happy? What makes you happy today, won’t tomorrow. What makes you happy now, may not be what makes you happy an hour from now. So, you’re asking someone to make a lifetime commitment to making you happy when it constantly changes? What if what happiness has changed to a year after you’re married, isn’t what they would have agreed to prior to marrying you? Should they then make themselves unhappy to make you happy? To what point? See the problems a marriage would have if it is being based only on happiness? And…there are more complicated problems than that.
Happiness in Marriage
Happiness in marriage is found through a relationship with God.
Let me attempt to prove it in a very practical way.
Everyone has faults. Right?
No one who walks this earth’s surface is perfect.
Let me remind you of the verse I used earlier, “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living and holy sacrifice, [a]acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.” Romans 12:1
One meaning of this verse is that we(sinful creatures) are to work on our sins, our faults, our imperfections, and our shortcomings through a relationship with God.
He’s the perfect, sinless, stainless ‘mirror’ that we can ‘look’ to better ourselves on a deep level. The deep character change starts by being obedient to Jesus’ teachings.
As our relationship with Jesus grows, so should our obedience.
As a result, we become less sinful.
Imagine the joy(which surpasses happiness) that is found when two sinful people are working on their sins in themselves, together, for each other, forever.
Wouldn’t you be happy knowing that common problems in marriage caused by sin(lies, anger, pride) are being addressed so that it is no longer a major problem?
Really, deeply think about that.
Oh my God!
My wife no longer needs to tell me not to leave the toilet seat up!
That was such a sin in my house….yes…lawd.
Is Marriage in the Bible Relevant For Today?
The Bible teaches that marriage should be about two spouses submitting to each other’s wants and needs, right?
By submission, I don’t mean dictatorship, I mean servitude.
Notice how a good parent submits and serves their child.
Parenthood requires an extreme level of unselfishness.
That’s the idea behind Biblical marriage.
Would that idea of marriage work today?
I think so.
What’s the alternative?
An Unhealthy Alternative to Biblical Marriage
Maybe you don’t believe in Christ.
And since you don’t believe in Christ, you are convinced that the Bible isn’t true, and to take it even further what the Bible says about marriage is wrong.
If you believe that, I want you to make some observations.
Observe what people say when they are looking for someone to marry.
Talk to unhappy couples and spouses.
Talk to divorcees.
Or better yet, check out shows like Married At First Site and ask yourself these two questions.
Why did some couples choose to stay married?
Why did some couples not work out?
Aside from extreme marriage problems like physical abuse, drug addiction, or things of that nature you’ll notice a pattern.
And…that pattern is the feeling, thinking, idea, or behavior that says “you are to be committed to giving me what I want, when I want, to make me happy, and you are not to change who I am. You are to accept me exactly as I am.”
AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.
- Marriage is about serving your spouse, not yourself
- Marriage was never designed to be selfish
- Marriage isn’t primarily focused on your happiness
- Marriage’s primary purpose is deep character change and family structure
- Marriages that are focused on self, self-destruct
- What the bible teaches about marriage still applies today
- Align your mind with what the bible teaches about marriage by getting pre-marital counseling.
- Find potential spouses that want to be married according to Scripture.
What is marriage? Short Answer.
A commitment between God and two believers entering a covenant that focuses on deep character change and family structure.
What are two purposes of marriage?
One, deep character change. Two, a stable environment to raise children.
How is marriage life?
Marriage life, like anything, is what you put into it. Marriage needs sacrifice, commitment, effort, and consistency to be great. Like anything in life.
What makes a strong marriage?
A strong marriage is a marriage where two people serve each other, versus themselves. Really, deeply think about that.