For a long time now I've wondered what the big deal is about marriage. And, if I'm being honest, my wonder didn't go away as I inched closer to being married myself; in fact, it grew: Why do we get married, why do we want to get married, why is it such a big deal to God, and what's His plan in all of this? Marriage is HARD, y'all! I really like being selfish and Michael does, too; and that's just not something that we can continue doing if we want to stay married. As things became more difficult and the reality of a lifetime of sleeping in the same bed with this selfish man (after sleeping in a big bed by myself for most of my life), the question grew: WHY?!? And here's the answer I came to... yesterday.
God created us, individually, to be in relationship with Him. He also created us, corporately, to work together just as my hands work with my brain and my eyes to become hand-eye coordination. And when we are working together as One Body, we are called The Church, we (corporately) are called His Bride. God has given us Jesus as our BrideGroom. And when we, individually, vow to surrender to Him, we become part of that Bridal Body, we receive Him as our Lord, our Guide, and our Salvation. It's sweet, it's special, it's intimate.
That's why marriage. God, in His majesty and sovereignty, created a flaw-filled, earthly example of this relationship between Jesus and The Church, between The BrideGroom and The Bride. It's not a perfect example because we're both flaw-filled people. We do things wrong, we hurt each other, and we get hurt, but when we choose to work through that and forgive, serve, surrender, and stay together, we get to live out the relationship between The Church and Jesus.
Marriage is neither about finding the perfect person nor being the perfect person. It's not about compromise or sex or love or even communication. It's not about what the other person can do for you or what you can do for the other person. Marriage is about one thing: God. It's about knowing Him and making Him known. It's about leaning into Jesus and letting Him work in and through you to love someone (your spouse and other someones) as He has loved us. We are not to love as we want to be loved, we are to love as we have been loved by Jesus.
I challenge you, no matter your place/status/station in life, to bring this viewpoint to God. Ask Him about it. If you don't know Him, you can ask Him anyway--no one will know except the two of you. If you do know Him, ask Him how you've been looking at marriage and how He wants you to view it differently. It's a-whole-nother ballgame when it stops being about me, about Michael, about our one-day-some-day children, or even about our mission to Scotland. When it starts being about God the purpose changes, the perspective changes, and the selfishness starts to fade.
Thanks for reading, friends.