Have you ever stopped and asked yourself what exactly is the purpose and point of marriage anyway? Here are a few of the answers I have heard: so I won’t be lonely, so I have someone to do life with, so I can have a family, or so I don’t have to date anymore…LOL! I am not saying that any of these reasons are not good reasons to get married, but I don’t believe any of them are truly the purpose of marriage. There are many reasons why people choose to get married, but I’d like to share with you what I believe is the true purpose of marriage.
So, God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)
Marriage was designed by God for His glory. I guess you could say that is my answer in a nutshell, but of course I will give you more than a nutshell answer. God didn’t need to create marriage, but He wanted to create it as a picture or an example for us to understand in some small way His great love for us. Marriage is intended to be an example of Christ’s relationship to the church. Christ, like a husband, is to love the church, like a bride. And the church, like a bride, is to love Christ, like a husband. Now, as humans that are imperfect sinners, the picture we create with our marriages will never live up to Christ’s relationship with the church, but it is our ultimate goal to work towards while we are here on this earth.
I guess before we can fully understand the purpose of marriage, we need to first consider the purpose of our lives. I know that can seem like a hugely overwhelming topic to some but it really is very simple and basic. We were created in Christ’s image to do His work for the glory of God. That is our purpose in this world, the entire reason God created us. He didn’t make us to be robots and force us to worship Him because we were programmed to do so with no choice or will of our own. Absolutely not, He created us with a free will to choose Him or not choose Him. Free will is why some people won’t agree with what I believe. However, for those of us who call Him Lord, our desire should be to tell others about the Father’s love and pray that they would choose to accept His free gift of salvation. Once we understand our purpose in life, we can better understand the purpose for marriage.
A lot of people think of marriage purely as a contract, an agreement if you will. That contract states I will do my part as long as you do your part. If you give 50%, I will give 50% and together we will make 100%. That is not how God designed marriage at all. Marriage is a sacred covenant rooted in covenant commitments that stand against every storm “as long as we both shall live.” In a covenant marriage, unlike a contract, each person promises to love, forgive and stand by the other person even if they aren’t holding up their end of the “contract”. It is a promise to God to love each other until death parts you. In a covenant marriage, each person gives of themselves 100% regardless of what their spouse is giving.
Staying married is not mainly about staying in love, it is about covenant keeping. When we let the thrill of “being in love” go, that is when we often find new thrills that are rooted in a covenant love. This kind of love is distinct from “being in love”. This is Agape love vs. Eros love. Eros love is a kind of romantic love where the lovers are hungry and passionate for each other, this is where many relationships begin. However, to truly last, a marriage must be based on Agape love which is divine love characterized by sacrifice in pursuit of your spouse’s good. Agape love is maintained by the will, strengthened by habit, and reinforced by grace, passing over each other’s sin.
We have been given the gift of marriage because God is good and He loves to give us good things. Sex was created to be part of marriage and most people would agree that it is an amazing gift. However, it should not be the foundation of our marriage because as many of you reading this are aware, the ability to have sex (in the traditional sense or any other way) may not always be present in your marriage. Those of us who have a spouse that is living with paralysis will have a variety of different ability levels that directly or indirectly affect the ability for them to have sex. However, our marriages can still thrive because we didn’t marry our spouse with the promise to “always be able to have sex”. That being said, I would encourage you to be creative in how you are intimate with your spouse regardless of ability. Don’t stop kissing each other, holding hands and all the little things that make your relationship different from any other person in your life. Even the highest level of paralysis will allow for slow, tender, passionate kisses. Wives, don’t stop wearing sexy lingerie just because “sex” isn’t what it used to be, you can still be sexy for your husband even if you aren’t able to have sex the way you once did. Remember that men are visual and they receive great pleasure just from what they see. Trust me when I say I know it can feel awkward, but I challenge you to put yourself out there for your husband and do something sexy and unexpected especially if this is an area of your marriage that has weakened or become non-existent since his injury. Even a high-level quad is able to see and appreciate his wife in sexy bedroom attire. “A lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love.” Proverbs 5:19
Marriage is a blessing, but it takes a lot of work and commitment to thrive. My marriage looks very different today than it did 7 ½ years ago when my husband was injured. My love for him is so much stronger, deeper and more concrete because we have been through so much together. We didn’t allow his injury to drive us apart, we gave it all to God and trusted Him with the results and He has continued to be faithful in pouring out his blessings in our lives as we choose to honor him in our marriage.
I hope this has encouraged you today to keep working at your marriage and to give 100% no matter what you receive in return. I believe we are building up treasure in heaven as we love our spouses the way God has called us to. If you would like to receive more encouraging blog posts for spouses, please CLICK HERE and sign up to get each new post sent to your inbox.
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