Yes, I have had people ask me, "What does God have to do with my marriage?" I can only imagine what the look on my face is at first as I think, "Are you kidding me?" But to be honest, the statement doesn't surprise me. We live in a world today that takes credit for what God has done. Evolution has replaced Creationism. Positive thinking has replaced prayer. Spirituality has replaced faith in Jesus and . . . well you get the picture. So it doesn't surprise me at all that culture takes credit for marriage. It is taught by some that the idea of marriage is part of evolutionary process. Others argue that the church and/or government made it popular as means to control people and their actions.
Marriage and family are God's idea. Genesis 3, in the Garden of Eden, God says that it is good for a man to leave mom and dad and get married. God created us to exist within the bonds of marriage and family. The whole of the Bible supports the institutions of marriage and family over and over again. God created it, He blesses it and He desires for us to embrace it.
The problem we run into is simple. We embrace the idea of marriage and family, but we ignore God's authority over it. People get married and have children, but they don't include God in that marriage or family. What should be happening? Here are a few thoughts.
- Mom and Dad filter their decisions and actions through God's will. What does God want us to do? How does He want us to raise our children?
- Spouses need to love God more than they do each other. This one could be a little difficult for you to wrap your brain around. The Bible says that God is love (1 Jn). So where does the love for my spouse and family come from? God. Where does joy, peace, hope and everything else I need to live life everyday come from? God. Our problem is that we think to small. We think that our hearts can't love any more than it does already. That in some way if we love God more than we do our spouses we will diminish our love for them. In fact the opposite is true. God designed us to enjoy an infinite amount of love. The more we love God, our love for our spouse and family will grow that much more. Remember, there are no limits here.
- What does the Bible say about marriage and family? God created them to be successful. We have to remember this principle all the time. Especially when life isn't as good as we hope it will be. Life changes us. It can't help it and we can't stop it. But if we don't allow God to guide us through those changes, we are doomed to fly apart at the seams. Remember, God created marriage and family to succeed - not fail.
- Go to church! Don't bristle at that thought. It's simple. He wants us to hang out with people who have done what we are doing. There is strength in numbers and the support you need to have a successful marriage and family is tremendous. 'Nuff said.
- Great sacrifice will be required. The list of things that can be required of us is infinite. So let's boil it down to the big one! Our life. If Jesus loved us so much that He gave His life so the Family of God can be reunited - then we must be willing to do the same. That doesn't mean that it will - but Eph. makes it clear (especially for husbands). We are to love our spouses as Christ loves the Church and he gave up His life for her.