Marriage. It seems to be old-fashioned to many in our culture. Kind of a romantic gesture that is optional for co-habitating couples, but not necessary. I’ve heard some say, “Marriage is just a piece of paper that doesn’t prove anything. Why go to all that trouble if we can live together–it’s the same.“
Why do we spend our life encouraging healthy marriages if it’s just an option available for couples to consider?
We can’t speak for anyone else, but we can share why marriage is a big deal to us.
God created the first man and woman. It was in the garden where He said,
“And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:22-25 ESV
Marriage is a miracle where two who were once separated have now become one. And for the marriage to work, this oneness must be cultivated for as long as we live.
Will it be easy? No.
Will it be worth it? Oh, yes!
We have been cultivating our marriage for over forty years now, and it still comes with challenging days. We are often surprised because we don’t see it coming. Something is said and the atmosphere turns dark and foreboding.
It’s in moments like these that we must lean in and talk. Talk, not yell, or grow silent, or fling absolutes such as, “you always” or “you never”! Talking is both of you sharing how you see the conflict and listening to the other’s perspective.
How can it be that two people see things so differently?
It has been this way from the beginning. Note that we have four Gospels to give us four separate accounts of the most significant event of history. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. The very one to whom you are married, as well as yourself.
This is how strong marriages are cultivated; two sinners saying “I do” to each other and to God. He does the impossible by making us one and continues to lead us through every struggle.
Conflict isn’t an indication that your marriage is bad. On the contrary. It is proof that you married a sinner and so did your spouse. There is hope for those who sin—His name is Jesus. He came into the world to save sinners. This is the greatest news the world has known, and the hope for cultivating marriages that last.