Strapless off- white, pristine fondant, waterfalling flowers, lace and burlap. Pinterest weddings paint a picture of perfection. Everything personalized and do it yourself. Expensive and hand picked. The bride’s every wish realized.
The only problem—marriage isn’t about you. The opposite: marriage is about selflessness. To demand the first day to go your way or the highway, ladies, is to setup expectations destined for destruction.
Going into marriage, I made up expectations. Thought up the perfect version of me, of him, of us. This picture, in my mind and heart—galaxies from 3D reality. As daily living became spills and stains, my mind’s picture failed. Somehow, I wasn’t Wonder Woman and he wasn’t Prince Charming. We were two sinners living together. I sunk, grasping for a handle, gasping for oxygen, whooshing down a mountainside, wide eyed. Dirty laundry and concocting dinner, cuddles and navigating differing opinions.
As the man and woman composing a marriage are imperfect, marriage is far from perfect. To devise an imagined way things should be is to ask for disappointment. The only perfect marriage is Christ and His Bride the church.
metaphor of Christ & church
inhaling your exhale.
a daily choice.
“no matter what.”
not about you.
Looking to eternity, marriage is about God’s glory. When both hearts are lodged in Jesus, eyes upward and legs kneeling, it works. Marriage is no longer a focus. God is the focus. Just like focusing on a wedding suffocates a couple, idolizing a marriage shortchanges God. God jealously yearns for the spirit He made to dwell in us.
Two dust forms, melded together by the Master’s fingertips. One clay mold composed of two rebellious hearts beating after the jaded jungle of self, envy, lust, greed, pride.
The solution? A substitution—one died for all so all who believe can live. Now we lay our life down. One’s desire died for good of two becoming one so God is glorified. In God’s eyes, already one. On earth, daily moving towards unity—each moment an opportunity to choose each other again. Soul’s starving not met in flesh and blood but looking to Christ for relief. Heart sigh—needs met in Saviour. Husband free to succeed, to fail, to soar, to be himself. Freed of wife’s expectations. Grace blankets us, covering our evil. We dance tuesday, sunday, thursday, days between. We dance, cold, wet grass between our toes. Spinning stars sing over ourself, one in the silent sway of mystery—two becoming one.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Finally, some advice to the engaged woman. This is a time to prepare for the rest of your life together. Pray for your husband. Read God’s Word. Ask God to prepare your heart to be one with your husband. Take it from someone who learned the hard way—don’t obsess over a wedding. It only leads to heartache. Obsess over Jesus. He’ll take care of the rest.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
To the dating, don’t allow your identity to become wrapped up in your significant other. Put God first. I’ve tried millions trillions 65 zillion times to have my heart’s longings satisfied by a man. It is a dead end. Only the Maker of hearts can satisfy the heart. Trust me, I’ve learned that lesson numerous times, and always the difficult heartache break ouch way. Save yourself the trouble. Be loved by Jesus.
Save sex for marriage. God designed sex to be only between husband and wife. A way of being one. Any sex (or messing around) outside marriage only leads to emptiness and harm. God created sex! He knows best! Sleeping together outside of marriage is sexual immorality, which is sin. If you already messed up, don’t despair–Jesus died for us! Hear the good news: He died as the penalty for your sin. If you repent and turn from your sin, believe in Jesus, God will forgive you and you begin a relationship with Him!
Run from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body. Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20 NLT
Only date someone you can see yourself marrying. And wait on God’s timing. I knew a month into meeting my husband that he was going to be my husband. A year and a half later, he popped the question. If only I was patient and trusted God. Instead, I was an impatient mess, constantly wondering why he hadn’t proposed yet! I am SO grateful God did not allow me to have my way. If we had gotten married when I wanted to, it would have been very difficult as I was not strong in my faith. God grew me, then we got married. Then I grew more. Marriage is very sanctifying!
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
To those who desire to be married but God’s said not yet, trust God and seek Him. Become the person you want to marry. You can pray for your future spouse. My husband’s prayers, years before we ever met, brought me across the country and into his arms. Remember–prayer is powerful! God’s timing is perfect!
Don’t waste your singleness. God is our purpose. Singleness, whether a season or a calling, is an opportunity to wholeheartedly serve the Lord!
I want you to be free from the concerns of this life. An unmarried man can spend his time doing the Lord’s work and thinking how to please him. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities and how to please his wife. His interests are divided. In the same way, a woman who is no longer married or has never been married can be devoted to the Lord and holy in body and in spirit. But a married woman has to think about her earthly responsibilities and how to please her husband. I am saying this for your benefit, not to place restrictions on you. I want you to do whatever will help you serve the Lord best, with as few distractions as possible.
1 Corinthians 7:32-25 NLT
If you’ve been wounded by a broken marriage, come to Christ Jesus. He can heal you.
To all, love God and love others. That is why we are here.
“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:36-39 NLT