A Christian Marriage
A Christian marriage is the union of a man and a woman together, for life. But it is more than that. A Christian marriage is a joining of two people together in a union and covenant with God. Both the bride and groom promise to make Christ the center of their relationship, to remain faithful to one another, to continuously work to know, love, and obey Jesus, and, to follow Jesus’ example while exemplifying the love God has for them individually in the love they extend to one another. This is obviously a tall order! The example Jesus offers is best illustrated by a passage in Paul’s letter to the Philippians:
Philippians 2:5–8 (NIV84)
5Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!
So Jesus, being God, made Himself nothing for us— even dying for us. If God is willing to become man, and die for us, should not we be willing at least to recognize what is actually true about our lowly, humble state? Should not we be willing to make some sacrifices for our spouse on His behalf, if so instructed? Paul gave practical application in his letter to the Ephesians: “Submit to one another,” he said, “out of reverence for Christ.” (Ephesians 5:21) It is interesting to note here that, submitting to one’s spouse is, not optional— it’s commanded! Further, submission to one’s spouse is not to be understood as related to the behavior of one’s spouse. It would be inappropriate then to say, “I would submit to him were he to treat me better.” No. The Christian is commanded to submit to his/her spouse based solely on his/her reverence for Jesus the Christ. In the following verses, Paul went on to detail how a man should serve his wife and how his wife should serve her husband; all of it he relates back to Christ’s role as the sacrificial head of the church.
In most relationships, one gives to the relationship in proportion with what he or she is receiving from it. But, it is quite another thing to serve someone when he or she is being particularly difficult. Paul was calling believers to selflessly serve his or her spouse, regardless of the response. Imagine a relationship like that. Imagine two people dedicated to lovingly serving one another, no matter what. That is a relationship that cannot fail! That is a Christian Marriage!
In truth, we don’t see much of that. Most people who claim the name of Christ, do marriage pretty much like everyone else— consequently, they divorce at a rate that is consistent with others as well. The reason: they haven’t put Christ at the center of their marriage, and they do not draw strength from their relationship with Christ.
For, if Christ is at the center of the marriage, and both the husband and wife are committed to growing closer to Christ, they will inevitably grow closer to each other (see the image above). The ability to stay the course in difficult times, comes from a commitment to each other, a commitment to Christ, and the strength that God provides. When one lives in this close relationship to Christ, the strength of God is pervasive.
Statistics show that Christian marrieds devoted to Christ (meeting certain criteria such as an agreement about fundamental doctrine, regular time alone with God, church attendance, etc) almost never divorce… the last survey I saw reflected less than a 1% divorce rate among such couples.
The Modern Marriage
Many a young couple have launched headlong into marriage, blinded by their infatuation for one another, only to find out how difficult marriage can be. Indeed, this is usually what happens. Maybe the most daunting difficulty in marriage is the proper appropriation of time spent together, enjoying one another. Prior to marriage, and usually early in the marriage, the couple spent hours together regularly, focused on one another. But, the tendency in life is to accumulate responsibility, and there is an inverse relationship between responsibility and the availability of discretionary time. So, the longer couples spend together, ironically, often, the less time they have for one another.
This is where The discovery Game can prove invaluable. The game provides a great way for infatuated, young, married couples to spend time together; but it is also a no-prep, no-expense way for busy, even exhausted or troubled couples, to focus on each other. Do you want to experience marriage as God designed it to function? The discovery Game was purposed toward this end. Why not give it a try?