The Purpose of Marriage
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.