Imperfect Marriage Partners
Marriage is taking two unique people and uniting their souls and bodies for a common purpose, for the rest of their lives. But it’s also taking two imperfect people and putting them in a committed relationship so they can safely grow and mature together as they work on their imperfections and problems.
When we see imperfect marriages or marriages that fail, we sometimes think that marriage must have been a mistake. But God’s perfect plan for marriage isn’t flawed; it’s people who make it less than God designed. Fortunately, marriage is a unique place where God can work on our flaws—hopefully in a safe and loving environment.
Marriage is also living out God’s redemptive plan and becoming more like Him everyday. It’s seeing your mate grow through the love, grace and forgiveness you freely give him or her, while that person also allows you to grow, even through your mistakes. It’s about giving, helping, serving, trusting, forgiving, caring, learning and living through the ups and downs of life. It’s employing 1 Corinthians 13 in the process and watching God work through that process.
Our culture also encourages us to have no boundaries, to have unlimited freedom. But God wants us to be unselfish, and limit ourselves for the good of the relationship.
You need to constantly choose your relationship over material things, over other people, over work, over other selfish desires—sometimes even over ministry or noble deeds. One of my friends nearly lost her marriage because she was so busy working at her church that she neglected her husband, so beware of this subtlety.
True intimacy comes when you make your relationship more important than your individualism. Yet, at the same time, we are still separate individuals, just as the Trinity is three in one. Just as they have their own separate identities and purposes, so do we. By mirroring this sacred truth, we can guide others to the One who models perfect Oneness.
God wants us to mirror this intimate relationship—spiritually, physically, emotionally, intellectually and socially. Socially, marriage is a public contract that says “we are one” as we share our lives with others. Emotionally it’s being vulnerable, transparent and honest with one another as with no one else. Intellectually, it’s sharing your thoughts, opinions and desires. Physically, it’s everything from a tender kiss to passionate sexual intercourse. Spiritually, it’s praying together, worshiping together and growing in your faith.
Through your marriage, you can show the world that God’s plan for mankind is a good one. God can use our marriages to show a lost and dying world that love and grace–and growing in Him–can make people different, even better.
How have you become “better” because of your marriage? I’d love to know!
Adapted from Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage. Copyright © 2013, all rights reserved.
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