Marriage. It's what brings us together today. (Or, maybe not.)
At least, it's the theme of this entire week.
My husband and I are celebrating a decade of wedded bliss, and my baby brother is getting married two days after our anniversary.
The world has it all wrong when it comes to this sacred institution. And I would love to enlighten the confused, although, I doubt most of them would even dare care to read our blog anyway.
Marriage is sexy; prostituting yourself isn't
I don't get it. I don't get the single (or married) people that find the fleeting one-night-stand thing appealing. How is that sexy and marriage deemed "boring"?
Truly, I get it, sometimes marriage goes thru "down times" where there is little much of anything going on sans just passing one another in the hallway while wrangling kids, life, and/or projects. But really, I mean, how is it preferrable to hop from one soul to another leaving yourself completely vulnerable and exposed, and then feel sorry for the married friend who has to have sex with the same person for the rest of their life?!!?
Are you kidding me?!?
I get to have sex with my best friend. The person that has vowed before an Almighty God to love me more than anyone else. I get to experience that with someone who won't forget to call me the next morning, or sneak out before the sun comes up. I get to look into my spouses eyes and see a deep, caring love radiated back, not lust. You're being robbed if you settle for giving yourself to someone who doesn't first hold your soul in marriage. You think a "Fifty Shades" relationship is hot and something to acquire; Something that marrieds couldn't possibly have?
I can outdo your "Fifty Shades" any day. What a cheap ticket to ride. If that's hot to you, then you're doing it wrong.
If only people would come up to me when they see my brood and say, "wow, five children, eh? You must really love your husband." To that I would say, "thank you, ma'am! I certainly do! How incredibly wise you are! Are you from another planet, perhaps?"
In fact, it is considered considerably more noble and acceptable to have several children because of several one-night-stands than it is for me to have a large family with my monogamous, "married-only-ever-to-me" husband. But, I digress.
If we are nurturing and treating our marriages like Christ expects us to, second only to His relationship with us, then marriage is and can be smokin' hot. It literally would put any "player" out there to shame. Married people don't "fizzle", they blaze like a roaring fire.
I get overwhelmed just thinking about how amazing God designed marriage to be for His glory and our benefit. Man, His design is just GOOD. To be ONE with another human of the opposite sex. To collaborate daily in all of the spiritual, mental, and physical rhelms is so incredibly beautiful.
We are sinful and hopelessly flawed, but God within us can make our flaws into something of eternal value. Which brings me to my next point.
I'm better off with you than without you
Ecclesiastes 4:9 "Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour."
Married couples that do life according to God's will, they have a double effectiveness for the Kingdom of Heaven. Sure, I could've done great amazing awesome things for God solo. Many people are called to live life on mission for God as a single. That's incredible and I admire them so much. God doesn't only use married couples, but I'm so glad to have the blessing of doing life with another Christ-follower.
I thank God everyday for my husband because I know together, we can do and accomplish so much more than separately. Our first mission field is our homes. Then our extended families and the community around us and beyond. Supporting, dreaming, collaborating, synchronizing, stretching, and working hard together so that the world will look at us and see Christ. That's worth fighting for. Fighting hard for.
In a world where "self" is exalted and "others" don't even cross most minds, (Biblical) marriage is the ultimate challenge in selflessness. For life.
Marriage isn't for you
If you think marriage is for someone to cater to your every whim, someone to flip your pancakes for you, and to share a bank account with, then don't get married. Marriage is for God's glory, ultimately. Why do so many marriages fail? Easy. When you approach marriage with a "what can I get outta this" attitude, you're marriage is already failing before it even begins. When you don't meet their expectations, bitterness comes. When that happens, you aren't able to see past yourself, then you become your own victim. Divorce is the answer.
Expectations will always ruin relationships. Always. Unless, of course, you expect your spouse to fail you daily. Then you are living reasonably.
When the wedding is over, then comes the marriage
Hey! Guess what?! Marriage isn't about that three hour wedding that took an entire year and $50,000 to plan. I'm so tired of seeing so many people live and plan and feverishly spend, spend, spend money, time, and energy on the wedding day and then pay no mind to the marriage that inevitably follows.
Christians have fallen into that "wedding" trap just as bad if not worse than non-Christians. It's embarrassing and it's probably a contributing factor as to why the Christian divorce rate is no different than the worldly divorce rate.
Stop investing so much into the wedding and invest into your marriage.
It's absolute JOY to witness and support a marriage that YOU KNOW will go the distance. The first time I met my future sister-in-law this past November, I just knew. I knew she was perfect for my brother and I knew when their wedding came upon us, that we would be so beyond thrilled to be apart of it. The same goes for my sister and her marriage almost seven years ago. Same excitement. Several friends of mine have been married and you can't help but just praise the Lord for the ones that you just know are God's plan. Marriage, orchestrated by God, is a blessing!!
God designed marriage, so He calls the shots
This won't be a debate about who and how we should marry. I trust the Author of marriage. He designed it. He gave us very strict guidelines for marriage, our bodies, and how we should live our lives. The world shouldn't be expected to follow those guidelines. They are lost for a reason. They're confused. They set their own definitions, expectations, and guidelines.
But, Christian, we must stand up for and proclaim God's Word about God's will for marriage. There is a reason why He gave us so much information about marriage, because His design is perfect and good for our lives and for the survival of the human race.
When marriages fail, we fail. When marriage is valued about as much as a cracker jack prize, then society falters. We are seeing the effects of decades of divorce being the "norm" in our culture. The world doesn't value, nor sees the importance of God's design in marriage anymore. This should make us weep.
I intend to keep fighting for marriage. Ten years in, and I'm wholly better because of my marriage. It's my greatest joy and my greatest sorrow. It fills me with hope, love, and peace and exposes my faults, shortcomings, and selfishness.
To the world, I say, stop cheapening marriage. Understand that settling for a McDonald's kind of love life means you're missing out on the "fresh homecooked meal with a massive plate of warm chocolate chip cookies" love. It takes more work, and a lot more effort and ingredients to serve up the latter, but boy does it ever beat a drive-thru love you're convinced is more delicious than the meal I eat everyday. And to that I say, "you can have your Big Mac, these cookies won't stay warm forever".