Just as I think it’s wise to prepare for marriage in the ways that we can now, as singles, I also think it’s helpful to have a Biblical vision for marriage, or more specifically, an understanding of what God purposes to accomplish through Christian marriage.
Having this vision will help guard us from misconceptions and false ideas about marriage, which abound both in our culture and Hollywood.
Contrary to some of these messages, the ultimate goal in marriage is not finding that perfect person who will complete and fulfill my life, plans, expectations, and desires. (With divorce as an option if these expectations are not lived up to)
Rather, the ultimate goal of marriage is to display God’s glory by living out a loving, sacrificial, covenant-keeping union.
Al Mohler does a good job in laying out a Biblical vision for marriage in his article, “Marriage and the Glory of God”. I encourage you to read it in full, (Go ahead, click the link and bookmark it for reading!) but below are some quotes if you don’t have time for the entire article:
“Marriage is about our happiness, our holiness, and our wholeness — but it is supremely about the glory of God. When marriage is entered into rightly, when marriage vows are kept with purity, when all the goods of marriage are enjoyed in their proper place — God is glorified.
…How does marriage glorify God? Tertullian, one of the early church fathers, offers wisdom:
‘How beautiful, then, the marriage of two Christians, two who are one in home, one in desire, one in the way of life they follow, one in the religion they practice... Nothing divides them either in flesh or in spirit... They pray together, they worship together, they fast together; instructing one another, encouraging one another, strengthening one another. Side by side they visit God's church and partake God's banquet, side by side they face difficulties and persecution, share their consolations. They have no secrets from one another; they never shun each other's company; they never bring sorrow to each other's hearts... Seeing this Christ rejoices. To such as these He gives His peace. Where there are two together, there also He is present.’
Marriage is the source of great and unspeakable happiness. Yet because of sin it is not unmixed happiness. But marriage is not first and foremost about making us happy. It is for making us holy. And through the covenant of marriage two Christians pledge to live together so as to make each other holy before God, as a testimony to Christ.”
Note: Obviously, this post and Mohler’s article don’t provide a full explanation of the purpose of marriage, or what Christian marriage is designed to represent. If you’re interested in learning more, I encourage you to take advantage of some of the great articles, books, and messages that are available that will help you take a deeper look at what the Bible has to say on this important subject. My purpose here is just to get a glimpse of God’s good plan for marriage, so that, as singles, we can pray and live intentionally towards this goal.
In the next posts, we’ll move on to the “Singleness” section of this series, thinking about how we can live in a purposeful, God-glorying way in this season of being single.