Why did you get married? Why do you want to get married? Answers are varied, but usually focus on love, completeness, happiness, maybe even hotness…Some people even throw in God.
But did anyone say they got married to be please God? I don’t think so.
Marriage is a big deal throughout the world. There is something within normally wired men and women that draws us together. We are drawn into relationships, and those relationships usually end up in marriage.
In the 21st Century we have come to regard marriage as a “me” thing. It must make “me” happy. It must have romance, it must have spontenaity, it must meet “me” needs. Books are written on how to compromise so that both me’s in the marriage are kept happy. Gone are the books about subjection and submission and pleasing the husband. Gone are the books about ruling your home and discipline and leadership. They have all been replaced with books about tolerance, sensitivity, freedom, acceptance and sharing responsibilities.
Children are raised with the idea that life is all about them and what they want, and so they go into marriage expecting the same. Most have experienced their parents divorcing, so they have this pre-programed attitude that if their spouse fails to meet their needs, they leave and move on to someone else. We have even come to accept the reality of “starter marriages” and how they can be beneficial in opening our eyes to the hardships and struggles that marriages often have.
As most young people enamored with the romance and beauty of extravagant marriages and honeymoons soon discover, marriage quickly turns into the excitement of driving across Kansas and seeing an occasional overpass. Too often couples see marriage as an ideal that they want to have in their lives, but it soon descends into hurt and disappointment and even resentment and hatred.
So most couples who survive the turmoils of learning to live with a person of the opposite sex and opposite thinking, trade the romantic “Me-Marriage” for realistic “Mature-Marriage”. Instead of leaving the marriage because of selfish expectations, they stay in the marriage and learn to settle for or tolerate each other. The marriage becomes “livable” and “convenient”.
Is the “Me-Marriage” or even the “Mature-Marriage” what God had in mind when he created Eve for Adam?
God from the very beginning told Adam and Eve to “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it”.
Marriage was designed to be full of Life and to Subdue this World for God! Marriages are to Conquer, to Win, to be Victorious! God designed Marriage to generate energy and LIFE, not just energy to survive each other, but to subdue the world! God’s marriage generated energy to Overcome and have LIFE!
God is all about Life and Life that is Abundant, Fruitful and Fulfilling! God designed Marriage to accomplish His purpose!
God designed marriage so that the challenges and problems a couple faces should be transformational- should bring them closer to the power and purpose of God! Marriage is all about the Life that God wants us to Live!
Now if marriages are to accomplish what God wants, they can’t be about Me or even We.
And if Marriages are about Victory and Conquering, they shouldn’t be boring or lifeless or settling and mature. They should be about Life! The life that God gives.
We need to see marriage and our relationships with our spouses in a different light. We need to see them as God designed.
God did not design marriage to make us happy, but to make us Holy.
God did not design marriage to benefit us, but to Empower us!
We all got married with dreams in our heads.
I imagined Lydia would make a great pastor’s wife. I could see her faithfully by my side as I preached to admiring audiences. But somewhere along the line my dreams of saving the world turned into the nightmare of feeding six children, of Chuck E Cheese, of braces, and fighting about watching Terminator instead of Pretty Woman for the 30th time. Seemingly overnight we went from sexy nighties to ratty sweats. What happened to those dreams? Is this what marriage is really all about?
So What does God Want Marriages to be?
What was His design? Sexy Nighties or Ratty Sweats? How can Marriage make us Holy and Empower us to be like God, and accommodate any attire, any stage of life? This is the purpose of this site, to discover God’s design fro marriage, and to discover how to become TotallyMarried.
There are two Non-Negotiable beliefs that we must embrace if we are to become TotallyMarried.
1. Marriage requires a 24/7 commitment.
2. Marriage requires a new and selfless life.
If we are to discover God’s purpose for marriage, we must commit our heart to God, without reservation.
If we are to discover God’s purpose for marriage, we must surrender our will, our notions, our preconceptions to Him.
God Designed Marriage to Please Him!
1 Corinthians 7:1-2 (NIV) Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband.
1. “So Much Immorality”
i. Not only sex is meant here
ii. Character needs - Lust, selfishness, anger, hatred
2. God uses Marriage to Confront our Needs
i. Marriage should deal with character needs.
ii. Marriage will reveal character needs.
3. You Decide if Marriage will Shape and Empower You.
i. Marriage is “relational exercise” and stress-tests our heart.
ii. Failure to deal with character needs will result in fights, relational walls, alienation, bitterness and worse.
iii. Marriage is preparation for Eternity.
4. Marriage Is No Substitute For God.
i. Who do you find fulfillment in? Your spouse of God?
ii. Your spouse is designed to complement you, not complete you
iii. We are complete in Christ.
iv. Therefore we must see how Marriage works to Complete Us!
5. Marriage: Signpost pointing us to God
i. Marriage is used to Explore and Know God
ii. Marriage is a daily reminder of God in our life
6. Marriage Pictures Reconciliation
i. Isaiah 62:5 “As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you”
ii. God became united with flesh in Jesus Christ.
iii. Jesus Christ is seeking His bride for the wedding to the lamb (Rev 19:7) where we will enjoy the wedding banquet (Matthew 22:1-14)
iv. Jesus reconciled God to Man so that we can know Him and have a relationship with Him.
v. Marriage is the place of reconciliation that displays the Father’s Love to the world.
vi. Marriage pictures the ongoing relationship between Christ and His church.
7. Man-centered vs. God-centered View of Marriage
i. Man: We will maintain our marriage as long as our earthly comforts, desires and expectations are met.
ii. Marriage is all about my enjoyment.
iii. God: We preserve our marriage because it brings glory to God and points a sinful world to a reconciling Creator
8. God Designed Marriage to Please Him
2 Corinthians 5:9 (NIV) So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.
i. Paul says our goal in life should be to please God.
ii. Marriage – more than happiness, sexual expression, bearing children, companionship, mutual care and provision, is to please God.
iii. We ask not “What will make me happy? We ask what will make God happy?”
2 Corinthians 5:15 (NIV)
And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
9. Marriage fulfills the Ministry of Reconciliation
2 Corinthians 5:16-19 (NIV)
So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
i. Marriages model Christs forgiveness, selfless love and sacrifice.
ii. Marriages that fail send a message to the orld that I have stopped loving someone and have broken a promise I made many years earlier.
iii. Sad that Barna notes Born Again Christians have a divorce rate that is higher than non-believers (27% to 23%)
iv. How can children believe us when we tell them God’s promise to Love and forgive them is secure when they can’t see that we honor our word.
DIVORCE SIGNALS THAT AT LEAST ONE OF THE SPOUSES HAS FAILED TO PUT THE GOSPEL FIRST IN THEIR LIVES.
10. Successful Marriages require a commitment to Christian Duty.
i. Illustation of 700 year old tree. Wetness of forest minimizes fire from lightning strikes.
1. Western Slope of the Cascades are so wet that lightning strikes cause relatively few fires.
2. Traditional forests face lightning initiated fires every 50 or 60 years.
ii. Christian marriages will still be stuck by lightning-sexual temptation, communication problems, frustrations, trials, hardships, unrealized expectations.
iii. If marriages are hevily watered with an inwavering commitment to please God, the conditions will not be ripe for a devastating fire to follow the lightning strike.
iv. If I am married only for my happiness, and my happiness wanes for whatever reason, one little spark will burn the entire forest down.
v. But if my aim is to proclaim and model God’s ministry of reconciliation, my endurance and marriage will be fireproof.
11. We must practice the Spiritual Discipline of Marriage.
i. I put my relationship with God first.
ii. Sticking it out is a victory in and of itself.
iii. A 700 year old tree commands our attention simply because it has endured so long.
iv. Christians can command attention simply by staying married.
v. When asked why, we say “would you like to hear more about the good news of reconciliation?”
Marriages Are The Message Of Reconciliation This World Needs To Hear And See.
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