The Best Marriage Advice

The Best Marriage Advice You Could Ever Get...and probably won't get elsewhere.

When it comes to marriage there are thousands of survival guides out there. Self help books with 6 steps you can take to a better marriage.

 

When you get engaged people are quick to offer advice, their own thoughts and experiences of how to have a better marriage.

 

For some it’s don’t get married, for others it’s never go to bed angry. Some advice is helpful but some is just not or irrelevant.

 

I just came back from a festival and I was able to listen to two seminars on marriage, both given by people I deeply admire and respect. I was reminded of a lot of things I forgot or I hadn’t thought of in awhile.

 

Both seminars eventually touched on the same principal, and I believe {as a married woman} that it is the BEST marriage advice anyone could give you.

 

Here it is:  marriage is NOT about YOU.

 

From a young age we are made to believe the opposite. Disney movies are great at this. In every story there is ONE person out there that will make all my wildest dreams come true, someone that will complete me, fulfill me, that will make my life better.

 

Disney isn’t the only one selling this story. Movies, books, all tell the same tall tale. That there is someone out there that will satisfy me, that will make me happy, meet all my needs.

 

Every romantic comedy, teen novel, fairy tale story is all the same. We all want our own Prince Charming that we can ride off into the sunset with and live happily ever after.

 

But that ISN'T reality. Prince Charming does not exist. There is NO perfect person that can anticipate all of your needs, satisfy your deepest desires and fulfill your wildest dreams. No person can ever satisfy you.

 

If you go into marriage {or any relationship for that matter} with that mentality, you will end up disappointed.

 

I believe this is why a lot of marriages end in divorce. Both parties want to be fulfilled, to be made complete, to be satisfied and their spouse is not meeting their expectations.

 

Well the sad truth is, if that’s your expectation it will NEVER be met. A different spouse will not solve the problem.

 

Marriage is two imperfect people coming together. It does not matter how compatible you are, you are both imperfect. You will fail at some point.

 

THAT MEANS YOU WILL NEVER FULFILL YOUR SPOUSE AND YOUR SPOUSE WILL NEVER FULFILL YOU.

 

So then, what is the point of getting married? Why even get married if I am never to be fulfilled, or satisfied, or have my needs met by my spouse?

 

Marriage is not about you. You are not the reason for marriage. You should not get married to fulfill your needs or satisfy your desires because it is NOT about YOU.

 

Marriage has a much larger purpose as it points to a greater picture than just you and your spouse. Marriage is a huge picture of a larger story, one that took place thousands of years ago, one that was written before time existed.

 

In the beginning God created the world by speaking everything into existence. He then formed human kind from the dust of the Earth and exhaled, breathing life into existence.

 

There in the Garden Adam and Eve {the first two humans} were married and were naked without shame. But if you are familiar with this story you know that it doesn’t last long. Soon sin enters the world and Adam and Eve turn away from God, trusting in themselves, seeking to serve themselves, separating themselves from God.

 

The result is the world we live in, this fallen world of pain and suffering. But the Lord never left us. We see in Scripture the Lord walking with His people, providing their needs and protecting them. He gives them hope, as they long to be satisfied.

 

Then one day, something extraordinary takes place. Jesus, God’s own son, steps down off his throne and walks among us. He doesn’t come in glory with angels following him. Instead he humbles himself being born as an infant and laid in a manger. Raised by a carpenter he begins sharing his testimony, spreading hope that in him there is new life, that there is satisfaction, rest, that all your needs can be met.

 

Jesus lives a perfect life, and is killed because of it. He is eventually beaten by his enemies, rejected by his friends, nailed to a cross, naked and ashamed, hung for all to see, bleeding, tired, thirsty. It’s the point in the story that doesn’t make sense.

 

WHY would the God of the universe, the one who made all things, that spoke the world into existence that breathed life into human beings allow himself to be murdered in such a horrific way? What kind of story is this?

 

It’s a story of unconditional love, of sacrifice, of humility. It's the ultimate love story. It’s the reason we have marriage.

 

Jesus stepped down off his throne in heaven to come down to earth to die a painful death so that he could reconcile our relationship with God, that he could mend the separation we caused. So that we could be reunited with the one that created us.

 

Marriage is the depiction of that story {Ephesians 5Isaiah 54:5, Isaiah 62:5Jeremiah 2:2,} It’s the opportunity we have to glimpse into the larger story at play, to understand what has been done for us, on a real-life level. God gave us something tangible to realize his great love for us. In marriage we are able to love as Jesus loved, when it’s hard, when it hurts, when it’s underserved, when it’s messy.

 

You see, when B hurts me, when he says something mean or does something hurtful, I can turn to him through God’s grace and love him the same. I can extend grace instead of blame. I can extend love instead of hate.

 

Marriage is a unique relationship where I am forced to serve and love sacrificially, when it is inconvenient or when it is undeserved. This points to the Gospel, because it is how we are loved. In those hard moments I am graced with a greater understanding of how much I am loved, not by B but by the God of the universe.

 

Isn’t that incredible? What a humbling thing, to know that this thing that I have become a part of, this marriage, is not about me and not entirely about B, but about God. This story that’s unfolding before you doesn’t end with B and I, but with God.

 

All the glory belongs to Him. 

{A R K I N T H E D E S E R T}

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