The Purpose of Marriage

An Essay By Damaris Ann // 12/13/2015

Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a wife and mother. Even when I was two. I was obsessed with baby dolls. I even remember praying that God would turn my doll into a real live baby so that I could be a mommy. Of course that prayer was answered with a "no".
Recently I caught myself mentally taking pride in the fact that I looked forward to marriage for "good" reasons. All I wanted was a hand to hold, a husband to serve, and children to raise in the fear and admonition of the Lord. But that's wrong. Marriage is supposed to be a living picture of the gospel. A picture of the Union and the coming together of Christ and His bride, the Church. Christ died to save the church because of His love for her. He put Himself last. He humbled Himself in more ways than we know. He suffered through having the wrath of God poured out upon His head for us so that we (as the church) could have eternal life. That is the most selfless act in the history of this world. Even jumping in front of a train to save someone's life doesn't compare. Now all of this doesn't mean that I believe it is wicked to look forward to holding hands, serving your husband, or teaching your children to fear the Lord. That's not what I'm saying at all. I'm saying that we need to be able to understand the main point to see the bigger picture.
I once heard someone say, "Love is the commitment to keep on keeping on regardless of the circumstances around you, the feelings within you, or the consequences ahead of you."
If you're committed to someone you will love them for better or for worse (as Christ does). I can't even fathom the amount of love and commitment that Christ has for us. So deep! So true! Totally unwavering. And we get divorced because really everyone is human and they don't keep their dirty socks off the floor. Or maybe they lose their hair and become ugly. 
Christ never forsakes His bride, no matter how unfaithful she has been. He always finds her and brings her back home to safety. He takes care of her when her sin has hurt her. He nourishes her, provides for her, and protects her from outside harm. Husbands should do the same. The bride of Christ should joyfully obey, willingly submit (with no back-talk), be meek (teachable), show honor, respect, and love at all times, and always remain faithful to her One Love. Wives should do the same plus (since wives have earthly husbands that are capable of sin such as discontentment, disappointment, discouragement, anger, shame, pain, and sorrow) they should be comforters, helpers, confidants, respectful advisers (when advice is needed), and encouragers.
How can we keep our focus on the gospel of Christ through marriage? How can we understand what it means to symbolize the bride of Christ, or even Christ Himself? Here is an interesting point that my older brother made: we as young people should not worry about spending our time preparing for marriage because marriage isn't always our calling, although for most it is. Instead we should be focused on becoming more like Christ. The more Christ-like you are, the better husband/wife/father/mother you will be. The more we understand who Christ is, and how we are to serve Him, the more we will understand what marriage is.

Comments

Hey there! This essay was

Hey there! This essay was very concise and interesting to read. However, I have some thoughts to point out so that you may be able to mold it a little better. :)

"And we get divorced because really everyone is human and they don't keep their dirty socks off the floor. Or maybe they lose their hair and become ugly."
I think that in most circumstances, these are not legitimate reasons people get divorced. Should marriage be a lifelong commitment? Absolutely. Should it continue to be a lifelong commitment if either partner is being abused, being unfaithful, etc.? I would say absolutely not. So, it's something to keep in mind that sometimes divorce is necessary for safety and happiness.

"The bride of Christ should joyfully obey, willingly submit (with no back-talk), be meek (teachable), show honor, respect, and love at all times, and always remain faithful to her One Love." This is more of a question, for me, because this part was slightly baffling. The way I was taught to love, especially in a marriage, is with respect for the other person as an equal. The way this is worded, it suggests that the wife is expected to submit to her husband almost like a child submits to a parent. Is this interpretation accurate? I absolutely agree that a wife should honor, love, and respect her husband, and the same should go for a husband toward his wife. But submission and meekness is odd to me.

Again, this essay was well written. :)

Erin | Mon, 12/14/2015

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

:)

This was very good. A couple of comments:

"But that's wrong... Now all of this doesn't mean that I believe it is wicked to look forward to holding hands, serving your husband, or teaching your children to fear the Lord." - I think because of your later explanation that using the word "wrong" is too strong. Those things aren't the primary reason for marriage or what we should look forward to most, but they aren't wrong things to want, and I think your message becomes confusing when you say it's wrong (though you did say that's if "ALL" you want is those things, but it still sent a mixed message to me) and then say it's not if you do look forward to those things.

Divorce. While I agree that biblically divorce is, in almost all circumstances, wrong, I do second Erin's comment that socks and looks are not the root reasons people get divorced.

As for submission, I didn't interpret it the way Erin did because I know where you're coming from. But I do think it would be a good idea to explain how the wife's submission to her husband is different than that of a child to a parent.

Your brother's words are very true. It took me years to pinpoint what I was uncomfortable with in a lot of teaching on purity - it was all about "future husband" and not Christ, which was really no solution to the problem!

Kyleigh | Mon, 12/14/2015

This essay was well-written,

This essay was well-written, and I second Erin's opinion that it was interesting to read. I do not agree with all of your messages, but I can appreciate that your writing was good. Essays might be your forte!

I agree with both Erin and Kyleigh in regard to the divorce issue. Although I interpreted your meaning to be more metaphoric and less literal, it should probably be expanded upon. There are a thousand different reasons people get divorced; not all are legitimate reasons, rest assured, but many are. I don't think it's something you should default to--"Oh, we disagree so much, let's get divorced!"--but there are people who genuinely need to, who are in extremely unhappy or unsafe situations.

This is a nice quote, and a good way to transition: I once heard someone say, "Love is the commitment to keep on keeping on regardless of the circumstances around you, the feelings within you, or the consequences ahead of you."

I also wholeheartedly agree with Erin in regard to the submission thing. I believe I get what you mean--that the husband is the authority, the head of the household, and the wife must listen to and obey him--but that's not a principle I share. I believe that negates the equality between a husband and wife which, in my opinion, should be the basis of a marriage: two equals coming together out of love.

Again, your writing was good in this, and I hope you are not offended by us sharing our worldviews. What I've loved about this site is the diversity of its people, and the fact that we all have respect for one another, regardless of our differences. That's so important, and very necessary, in this world!

Thanks!

Madeline | Mon, 12/14/2015

everything was better when/you would call and I'd be like/yeah babe, no way

Thank you all for your

Thank you all for your comments! Wonderful insight.

@Erin: I have a few verses to back up the statement I made. :) 1 Peter 3:1-2 "Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear." Ephesians 5:22-24 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing."

Now since our husbands aren't perfect (like Christ) there will be room to discuss decisions and (respectfully) ask questions about the decisions being made, but for the most part our way gives in to his.
I can understand how that might be baffling to you. I didn't always have this mindset, and my pride kept me from understanding it for a long time.

@Kyleigh and @HomeschooledGirl thank you both for your comments. (Since I can't see them right now I'm forgetting what I was going to say about them) I am going to work on editing soon.

Damaris Ann | Thu, 12/17/2015

My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭55:8-9‬

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