“Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6
This past weekend I did something that I strongly encourage every married couple to do – I attended a Weekend to Remember marriage getaway hosted by FamilyLife. I had heard many good things about the getaway, but I had no idea how beneficial and needed it would be.
Marriage isn’t easy. Anyone who says it is probably isn’t married. We all dream about marriage and have ideas about what it will look like one day, but rarely does the reality ever line up with the expectation. That could be due to a myriad of reasons, but the point is that marriage isn’t easy. It's hard work and if you want to have a successful marriage, you’re probably not going to stumble upon it by accident.
Think of it like a fancy car – like a Ferrari or a Porsche or Corvette [or maybe even something as flashy as my Hyundai Sonata]. When you decide to buy a car like that, you are picturing yourself taking tight hairpin turns at full speed. You imagine roaring down the highway and putting minivans and sedans in your rearview mirror. And if you’re a guy [which you must be if you’re stupid enough to spend so much money on a car], you’re probably visualizing yourself pulling up to a stop light and making heads turn as they see you in your car.
But what you are not thinking about is the extra cost of maintenance to have such a high priced vehicle. You aren’t considering that replacing the tires will probably cost you 4 times the amount of a normal car and you probably can’t get it done at Costco while you shop either. And you definitely aren’t dreaming of the day that you drop your kid off at preschool and have to go 3.5 mph over the 16 speed bumps in the school parking lot.
Marriage is the same way. It promises great rewards but unfortunately – as the many married couples in your life can attest to – we spend a lot of time and energy and still can’t seem to find those rewards.
MARRIAGE ISN'T EASY!It requires work. It requires investment. It requires you to roll up your sleeves and say “I want to make my marriage the best marriage ever.” A good marriage will never happen by accident.
Why do you think I went to this conference? I went because marriage is the primary earthly relationship in my life. Of course our relationship with God is #1, but after that, it is with our spouse who is primary. Go back to the very beginning and you’ll see it. God created man and began His relationship with him, but soon after that said “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18).
So what did God do? Create a mommy for him? Create a sibling for him? Create a golf buddy for him to hang out with on weekends? No. God created a wife for him – a helper comparable to him, someone who would be one with him, flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones, one who would complete him and allow him to be what God created him to be.
It is my belief that the vast majority of us [monks/nuns excluded obviously] have a deep deep desire to have oneness with someone on this earth. God created us with a spiritual void that only He can fill and a relational void that only marriage can fill.
But an ordinary marriage won’t fill it – only a marriage in accordance with God’s design can fill that desire.
That is why I went on that getaway – to invest in my marriage and improve the primary earthly relationship in my life today. I know that if my marriage is right, then I am free to do so many of the other things that God wants out of my life. But by the same token, if my marriage isn’t right, I will find myself paralyzed and unable to move forward. Right married people?
Question for discussion: What things have you done to help invest in your marriage and what has been the impact of that investment?
p.s. Because I believe in the importance of marriage and the need for all couples to invest in their marriages, I have arranged with Family Life for all of my blog readers to attend a Weekend to Remember marriage getaways at HALF PRICE! Click here for details.