Sometimes people tell me they are eager to marry and I ask why? Why do you want to be married so badly? Physical intimacy tops the list, as well as “I am tired of being alone,” or “I really want kids.” All of those reasons are primarily self focused.
Marriage is not supposed to be self focused. It is supposed to be team focused.
I can not tell you how many men I have met who have rattled off their list of what they wanted, needed, and never asked about me at all. As long as I looked good on the outside and loved Jesus, well sign them up. They did not care who I was as a person. They had their needs list and I was supposed to meet it. Some were driven by a desire to check the box, “Found a wife, now I have someone to serve me.” Ummmmm…no are we in the dark ages?
Marriage is supposed to be a picture of God love. God serves, loves; we serve and love God. It is not a one sided relationship.
Getting married is not supposed to be about finding someone to meet our needs bucket. It is supposed to be about loving and serving another person. Yes! I know the romantic comedies make it about the wedding and sex. Yet once the honeymoon is over, you are left to build a life with that person. Can you build a life together?…And not just one person lays their life down to build someone else’s empire. Both people are to come to the table with the objective of loving and serving the other.
Jesus shows us how relationships are supposed to work.
…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many,~Matthew 20:28.
Greater love has no one than this, that one should lay down his life for his friends,~John 15:13.
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him,~John 13:3-5.
Jesus focused on loving and serving, not coming to others to force them to meet His needs. He does not even come to the church with a bucket of needs. Jesus shows up to serve and our response to His love and grace is to love Him in return. We love because He first loves and serves us. God gives the most in the relationship. God has no need bucket. He is sufficient in Himself.
God does not need us, He wants us. God wants to love us. My true belief is marriage is supposed to be a desire to love someone the way God loves them.
Love is not selfish. Nor is love lustful. Lust is rooted in selfishness. Lust screams, “Please me.”
Love is not rude; it is not self-seeking,~from 1 Corinthians 13:5.
Love seeks to give. Love comes to the table saying, “I come bringing my very best. I want the best for you. I want to see God’s best for you, I am pursuing God’s best for you.” Both people get to come offering their very best. Perfection, no. The best they have to offer, yes. Why? Love wants what is best for the other.
Proper reasons to pursue marriage:
- To love someone as God does (committed, loyal, steadfast, enduring love).
- To bring your very best to the table and form a team.
- To serve another.
- To build the Kingdom of God together.
- To honor another for life.
Yes, it’s great to have butterflies and intense chemistry. Yet if the pursuit of marriage is just for what can be personally gained, it is a set up for disappointment. What if that spouse does not meet that need? What if they end up paralyzed and cannot meet the physical needs? What if there’s conflict? What then? A selfish person may seek to meet their needs outside of the covenant or abandon the relationship all together.
I have seen over the years in peer counseling people cheat or divorce because their “needs” were not being met. They came into marriage for what they could gain instead of give or they married a selfish person thinking they were going to change that person. No! What you see is what you get. If they are rude or selfish during dating, then guess what-you married a rude selfish person. Unless they yield to God, you took home that rude/selfish person til death do you part. If they won’t change for God, why do humans think they are going to change them? This has baffled me for years.
Lastly, peer pressure, desire to fit in, hormones, social status are not great reasons to marry. It’s a huge commitment that requires personal investment. I truly believe focusing on being a great friend to God is the best way to live. God knows the desires of the heart and is the BEST matchmaker. When our heart is to love and serve another, God sets up connections. Sure we can find people without including God at all…yet those relationships do not always work out.
I am not saying, pray and never leave the house. I am not saying don’t date and just pray in your closet. I am saying include God and check heart motives. Is the motive to fill a need only God can fulfill; identity, unfailing love? Humans will never succeed at filling God sized voids.
If your hormones are going nuts, prayer is powerful. Choosing marriage just to calm hormones does not work. Just as going to bar does not cure alcoholism, getting married does not cure lust. Lust is a heart condition and spirit. Deliverance from lust is available through Jesus and Holy Spirit. God created sex for love and intimacy, not lust. Paul’s instruction of it’s better to marry than burn was about passion. Those who sincerely desire marriage, go for it. He was not saying marriage cures lust.
Papa I pray for everyone who reads this to be wrecked by your unfailing love. I ask for each heart to be drenched in agape love. Love that overflows to others. I pray any pressure to marry, internal or external be removed. I bind all lies of marriage will cure loneliness or fulfill deep needs or fix everything be broken. Any idols of marriage or spouse come down. I ask for proper motivations to marry and the same for their future spouse. God you long to give your very best to those who love you! In Jesus powerful name, amen.
P.S if you are dating…my favorite prayer is, “God show me this person’s heart towards me and their true character.” He will. Pay attention. Character and heart matter.