The Vision of Marriage

I am calling this one the “Vision of Marriage” because marriage is not about “Staying in love”. But I’ll get back to that in a minute.

The Cancer Trail

January 1st, 2019 will probably live in our brains the rest of our lives. It was the day we got an answer to prayer that Amy was sick and had cancer. Fast forward 8x speed to today.

She made it through radiation treatments every day during Feb and Mar. Took a month off and got great news that the MRI showed a huge reduction in the cancer in her brain.

The at the beginning of May we started the next leg of this trail “chemotherapy”. This chemo is not intravenous chemotherapy. It is a pill called Temodar. It’s a chemotherapy pill that you take for 5 days straight, then you have three weeks off. Our hope is that this will kill off much more of the cancer and put her into remission for a very long time.

The first week of chemo was tough as it one of the main side affects is nausea. Once Amy got into the routine she did great throughout the week. This week is the week after and she is still very tired, but in good spirits.

We are looking towards the future after she is done with the chemo treatments in 5 months and making small plans. This is a good step and good sign of things to come.

This is where I am going to Segway into the “vision of marriage”. I want to write about this because it piggybacks off my last article “What pity party“.

The Vision of Marriage

Your young just out of college and looking for that perfect woman to get to know. You meet her and start dating. After a while of getting to know her, you meet the family. Time passes by in a twinkle and you propose to her in front of her family and next thing you know you are married.

Your vision of being married is happy and blissful, filled with romance, trips, laughter, disagreements as you learn to live together as “one flesh”. You get pregnant as a couple and your first child is on the way. Time slips a little faster away. Your second and third child arrive in a blink of an eye. A few years go by and your all of a sudden you are in your forties. You hear the news, your wife is sick and is facing a deadly disease.

You stop and wonder:

  • Where did it all go?
  • Is this what I really signed up for?
  • Is this the life that I wanted?
  • Why is this happening?
  • This is not what marriage is supposed to be, where’s the life I wanted?

Does this sound familiar? The problem we face is that the mind of Man is one where the main idol is self, and the main doctrine is autonomy, and the central act of worship is being entertained by the world. The modern day shrine is the television and the internet.

I have seen people in the church and outside the church cry out that this is not the marriage that they wanted. The other person is the problem, but it always come back to the root of the problem which is “self”. We love ourselves more than we love God and love our spouses. I am not talking about worldly love either. The feeling of love. But the love described in 1 Corinthians 13:4-13.

Marriage is more than that “feeling” of love

First, marriage is God’s doing. Marriage was God’s design from the beginning in Genesis 1:27-28. He created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female. Then what did God do, he said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth.” But when reading this you have to reference Genesis 2:18-25, where God states that it is not good for man to be alone. So, what does he do, he created woman. God said, “I will make him a helper fit for him.” God gave away the first bride. God took a rib from adam and made woman and He brought her to the man. God then gave her to the man “adam” and this was the first “marriage” between a man and a woman.

Look at Genesis 2:24, “‘The two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

The Mystery of Marriage Revealed by John Piper

The words “hold fast to his wife” and the words “they shall become one flesh” point to something far deeper and more permanent than serial marriages and occasional adultery. What these words point to is marriage as a sacred covenant rooted in covenant commitments that stand against every storm of “as long as we both shall live.” But that is only implicit here. It becomes explicit when the mystery of marriage is more fully revealed in Ephesians 5:31–32.

Paul quotes Genesis 2:24 in verse 31, “‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’” And then he gives it this all-important interpretation in verse 32: “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” In other words, marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant commitment to his church. Christ thought of himself as the bridegroom coming for his bride, the true people of God (Matthew 9:1525:1John 3:29). Paul knew his ministry was to gather the bride — the true people of God who would trust Christ — and betroth us to him. He says in 2 Corinthians 11:2, “I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.”

Christ knew he would have to pay the dowry of his own blood for his redeemed bride. He called this relationship the new covenant — “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood” (Luke 22:20). This is what Paul is referring to when he says that marriage is a great mystery: “I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” Christ obtained the church by his blood and formed a new covenant with her, an unbreakable “marriage.”

“Staying married is not about staying in love. It is about keeping a covenant before God!”

The most ultimate thing we can say about marriage is that it exists for God’s glory. That is, it exists to display God. Now we see how: marriage is patterned after Christ’s covenant relationship to the church. And therefore the highest meaning and the most ultimate purpose of marriage is to put the covenant relationship of Christ and his church on display. That is why marriage exists. If you are married, that is why you are married.

Why we can’t quit

This thing called marriage is not about “US”. I know I sound like a broken record, but if marriage is not about us and it is about God’s glory, how can we quit on our spouses when it gets tough. How can we quit on our marriage when we made a covenant before God that we would love, honor in sickness and health, good or bad our spouses. If our marriages are meant to be a representation of Christ and the church, what an afront to Christ it is when we say that this is not the marriage I wanted and quit.

God grows up closer to him and to our spouses through marriage. I didn’t see that when I was younger and newly married, but thankfully God isn’t finished with me yet. I do see that now. Amy is my best friend. She is my wife, the mother of my children and God has shown me how much of a precious gift she is through his eyes.

I hope that you will see your spouse the way that God sees them through his eyes and not your own. You and your spouse are precious to Him that created you and your marriage can be great if you make Christ the center of your marriage.

I am a husband, father, business owner and follower of Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. My hope is that you find these articles helpful in your walk through life.

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