Sunday, July 3, 2011

What Should Marriage Do to Us?

It is a busy weekend for me, with two weddings to officiate. I am often reminded of my own marriage when I do this, just as I am reminded of the frailty and purpose of life when I conduct a funeral. I have always encouraged the people present to reflect intentionally on their life during these occasions. In a wedding, we preach not just to the couple, but to all, whether married or single. In a funeral, it is for the living. That's why pastors and teachers of the Bible are in such a privilege position because we are reminded often about the role of Scriptures and God's commandments in our life. Conversely, we are also told that we will be judged more harshly because knowledge of the Bible is not just about knowing, but doing. (James 4:17 Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.)

Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1) 

For much is given, much is also expected. 
From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. (Luke 12:48)

But this is all good, because the exhortations are for our betterment unless we are foolish enough not to heed God's Word.

Matthew 7:24-27
 24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

At the wedding this morning, I quoted the following from Josh McDowell:

If you want to get married, you must make sure your marriage will give you a greater love for the Lord, the things of the Lord, a greater prospect of ministry. If not stay single.

Often young people get into marriage wondering what they can get out of it. In a godly maturing relationship, we learn how to give of ourselves into it. Love in the Bible is not merely a feeling word. It is not just about feeling good. It is about doing good to the other person even if we don't feel like it.

McDowell hits the nail on the head. In my paraphrase of what he is saying, 1 + 1 is not equal to 2, but 1 + 1 equal 10. If my marriage cannot bring me beyond what I can do for myself, then it will be a mediocre marriage. Physically, this is demonstrated in procreation. It is something I cannot do myself. I need my spouse for that. That's the synergistic nature of marriage. Emotionally, socially, cognitively and spiritually, we can multiply what's good in each other because we are married.

Therefore if marriage is purely for companionship, that's a low view of what this life-long relationship is meant to be. In fact, Apostle Paul likened the relationship between Jesus and His Church with that of a marriage. (Ephesians 5:22-33).

So young people, take note of the high calling of marriage.
Don't marry someone you can live with. 
Marry someone you can't live without.

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