Marriage Is For the Gospel

Monday, November 04, 2013

image via. Please tell me this made you laugh. Its meant to be funny. 

There's a popular blog post making the Facebook circuit right now entitled "Marriage isn't for you." I see many of my friends posting and sharing it with comments such as "Love this!" "So true!" "Great article!" And while some of the senitments in this article are nice, they're really just that... sentiments. Nice thoughts that don't really have a driving Truth behind them. I'm not intersted in starting a "blogger war"- who has time for that? Not this pregnant momma. But marriage is something I am deeply passionate about, and because of that, I want to take a few moments to point out a few things. All too often, we read articles or watch videos that "sound good" but they're missing the heart of the issue--God. They're glossed over with religious moralism that really has nothing to do with God or the Gospel. So with that in mind... a few thoughts:

I think I understand what the author is trying to get at... marriage is not for selfish people because its not about you. I completely wholeheartedly agree with that. But that's where my concurrence ends; I think he missed the punch line. The Truth is, marriage isn't about me and its not even about my spouse (though he's wonderful). Its not about the families we've joined, the kids we've had (though both are awesome), or the life lessons we're learning through loving each other. Marriage is completely and 100% all about Christ, the ultimate Bridegroom who sacrificed everything--his life-- for His Bride, the Church-- US. The God-given gift of marriage is so that we, as Christ-followers can display that sacrifical, saving love Christ has for us, and that through our marital example of the Gospel, others might also come to know and live in a saving relationship with Christ. So no, marriage isn't about you or your spouse or even the future family you will have. It's about living out the Gospel in the most sacred human to human relationship we've ever been given, so that God may be glorified and the lost may be found.

Sound heavy? It is. Your marriage- yes, that thing you did perhaps years ago, not fully knowing what you were getting into- is the daily, living & breathing mission field through which God wants to bring His non-believing children into an eternal-life-saving relationship with Him. Betcha didn't think your marriage could affect so many other people, huh? Other peoples' eternal lives can be greatly affected by your marriage.

When Sean and I got married, we were  young. And I'm not too proud to say that I had no idea what I was getting into. I had a small view of God, and therefore a small view of marriage and the Gospel. But I am so thankful that through the years (we've been married 9 1/2 years) and God's great, redeeming mercy, we have both grown in our relationships with Christ. We've come to see the depserate need for Christ and the Gospel to be the heart of our marriage. You see, I am a terribly selfish person. That's why I really do appreciate the sentiment that marriage is not for the selfish person. Nothing will expose your self-centered mess of a heart faster than marriage (or kids, but that's another story). This is where I am learning that marriage is about even more than being selfless... Its about recognizing the utter, awe-inspiring holiness of God and as a result of that, acknowledging my sin more and more. Praise the Lord the condition of my marriage isn't dependent upon anything I do or don't do for Sean! Christ has already been the perfect Bridegroom, the living example of what I am to strive for. I don't have to despair in my imperfections, because Christ drives me to His example as my Bridegroom... perfectly loving and ultimately selfless in laying down his holy life for my sinful one.

So what does it look like to have the Gospel displayed through your marriage? Any of our close friends can tell you we're not perfect. Those with whom we do life have seen our arguments. (After years of faking it around others, we've grown weary of the facade, and are striving for authentic community. Trust me, its not always pretty. But its worth it.) I have to ask my husband's forgiveness daily. I have to confess that I am selfish, and that I can't love him perfectly on my own. I need more Christ in my heart to be the wife I am called to be. And I fail daily, but in those moments, my husband graciously forgives me with a love that can only come from God. Christ lived the life I cannot live (perfect); He died the death that I deserve (for all my sins); He was buried in a tomb that had my name on it; He rose from that grave, conquering sin and death once, for all; He ascended to Heaven where he now sits at the right hand of our Father. Marriage is about repeating the Gospel, day after day, hour after hour (sometimes minute after minute)... dying to myself so that I may love my spouse and honor God. Forgiving each other just as freely as we have been forgiven by Christ. Hopefully in that process of spousal forgiveness, others will come to know that they, too have a great need for forgiveness and that Christ gives it freely to all who seek Him.

Want to read more about this idea of marriage? Here are some books that I highly recommend- they've completely changed the way I view marriage. (These are not affiliate links. I don't benefit in any way if you purchase one of these books from this link, but you'll benefit greatly by reading them! :))

True Woman 101 (This is a group Bible study for women. Revolutionary in my life!)
Real Marriage, by Mark & Grace Driscoll
The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller

You Might Also Like

0 Lovely Words

Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I'd love to hear from you!