Everyone wants a happy marriage, and happy marriages are very good! However, happiness is not what makes marriage most beautiful. This may come as a shock, or you may know exactly where I’m going with this. Either way, I hope you learn something as you read on.
Selena and I have been through plenty… plenty good and plenty bad. We’ve experienced both because of things we did (we’ve made wise choices and poor ones), and also because of reasons outside of our control. In fact, you can probably say the same!
Every marriage has ups and downs. Still, why do we stick together through it all? Is it to get through the hard times to enjoy the good times? Or is it something else?
- What is the grand purpose of marriage?
- Why commit and stick with one person for life, especially if (when) that person lets us down?
- Why should we fight with grit and honor to sustain our marriages?
- What makes it all worth it?
I’m asking these questions because the answer embodies everything we’re trying to communicate on this blog.
The grand purpose of marriage
We believe the highest purpose of marriage is to glorify God and bring us closer to Christ by teaching us the depths of his grace and love. That single purpose is the absolute foundation of why we’re married, and why we continue to write in hopes of helping other married couples. That purpose is what drives us forward when times are tough and keeps us humble when everything is going well.
We desperately want you to grasp God’s purpose in your marriage because if you do, we know you’ll be ever closer to believing and knowing the Gospel – the good news that Christ lived, died, and rose again so you’d be in right-standing with God. We are saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone. That is the Gospel.
Consider Ephesians 2:8:
“By grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.”
My marriage is the absolute loudest megaphone God uses to show me the depth of His grace. Selena would say the same. It’s how he’s made Ephesians 2:8 understandable in our lives.
To illustrate, let’s get personal. Through our marriage, God has helped us understand the Gospel in at three primary ways:
1) By grace alone.
We’ve realized that any understanding and acceptance of Jesus on our parts is only by God’s grace. The same is true for having each other. God, in His good grace, has given us to each other as a gift…one neither of us deserved. When we live in light of God’s generosity, we’re grateful for each other and it compels us to love one another as we are loved in Jesus.
When we see each other as a gift we didn’t earn, we tend to treat one another with honor, respect, and grace that is edifying and marriage strengthening.
2.) Through faith alone.
There’s nothing we can do to earn Christ’s love. We can only believe and trust in the finality of his work on the cross. In marriage, we have little control over the behavior of our spouses. They’re human, and they sin. But it’s through faith that we trust God’s work in their hearts (and our own), and we’re given peace and hope to stay the course while God continues His good work.
It’s a good heart check. When worry, strife, and anxiety creep in because of life or each other, we’re learning to ask ourselves “how are we not believing the Gospel in this situation”. The Holy Spirit is faithful to convict and correct wherever we’ve tried to put ourselves (or someone or something else) in God’s rightful place.
3.) In Christ alone.
Christ alone sustains us, and Christ alone deserves all credit for any good we experience in marriage. This simultaneously removes the weight or pressure to make our marriages “right”, and gives him all glory when things are good. When Jesus is at the center, we’re both fixed on him which inevitably makes us want to love one another more purely.
Your marriage, God’s purpose
Wherever you’re at in your marriage, if you’re reading this I hope you’re encouraged. The very fact that you’re hearing about Jesus is evidence of God’s call and grace on your life! Rest easy. God is at work, and He’s enough for your wherever you’re at. Our prayer is that you would grow ever closer to Christ, and that you see your spouse as a partner in God’s relentless pursuit of you both.
How has your marriage taught you more about grace? Love? Hope?
Here are a few images that may resonate with you. Please feel free to share them. Just click, expand, and select the social network where you’d like post. More images are available here.
Have you heard of the The 31-Day Pursuit Challenge?
Every marriage begins with passion, purpose, and pursuit, but few stay that way. That’s why we wrote Husband in Pursuit and Wife in Pursuit Together, they make what we’re calling the 31-Day Pursuit Challenge. Couples are encouraged take the challenge together. We’re already starting to hear stories of transformed marriages! Are you up for the challenge?