In re-reading chapter one of The Meaning of Marriage: Facing the Complexities of Commitment with the Wisdom of God, I am thrilled at the timeliness of this book. Anyone I’ve recommended this book to who has taken it seriously has found it to be very helpful in uncovering the lies about marriage and the promises available to us for marriage from God Himself in His Word.
For men and women alike, we have come to expect too much and too little from marriage. In our idealism, we have actually become pessimistic! For men for instance, the thought of finding the babe/soulmate has wrecked the thought of finding a woman to show love to and to serve and to encourage and to lay down your life for, and in return knowing you are living out the joy of following Jesus Christ’s example. Now more than ever, a man expects to not need to change but rather to find a roommate he can sleep with all he would like and move on from if they “fall out of love.”
What should our expectations be for marriage? Joy. Deep joy that can only be found as we serve the other and pray for and consider the needs of the other in the most intimate and proximate ways God has given humanity. You’ll not find a more difficult union in the human experience of life, but you’ll also not find a more intimate sighting of God’s mercy and grace for each believer’s soul. In marriage, we learn to give up and give in and really give instead of take when it comes to all other relationships. We think of married people as less accessible, but look at some of the healthiest marriages you know of and those two individuals together are humble and gracious followers of the King and showing mercy and God’s unearned favor (GRACE) to soul after soul.
For me, Carrie is my soulmate, but not in the “perfect” sense that the world wants. I am hers as well, but again, far from a “perfect” match in the world’s eyes. Our love is mutual and deep and tried and being tried and tested more every year. We are in this union for the other and for others. When a marriage becomes a “me marriage” as the Kellers describe, everything falls apart.
When we learn to turn to each other and self-deny, we find the deepest pleasure possible, fellowship with Jesus Christ Himself, better being able to identify with what His love for us is. We learn also to better love others as a team, a unit grown in this covenant love, built to last and to love those to whom we turn as a family. Imagine more of this mindset in our nation. We know it’s possible because God chose to show each believer His love in Christ, so let’s see this grace work itself out in our joyful following of our Savior into the deeper joys of commitment and lasting instead of taking and squandering.
May it start here in Tuolumne County. May we tie into commitment and weave our hearts into fellowships of faith oriented around the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His redemption of our souls as well as our marriages, families, and our community.
Expecting the joy available to us as we serve our LORD,