No More Perfect Jen: Marriage’s real purpose

No More Perfect Jen title slide

My quote to muse on for today:

“If we’re honest, real marriage bring our ‘yuck’ to the surface. Selfishness and pride raise their ugly heads in the everyday life of a normal marriage. After all, we like things the way we like them. Our way is the right way. Our rationale is always more logical than our spouse’s rationale, right?

In his book Sacred Marriage, author Gary Thomas poses this question: What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”

I always heard marriage was hard and takes work. Everyone knows that, right? Compromise, putting up with people’s junk, and sticking it out through times you may not like your spouse, that is the “work” in marriage.

What I didn’t know is that “work” people speak of has a lot to do with yourself. Sometimes people change, sometimes you do, and sometimes you *gasp* not perfect to begin with. But to shackle yourself to someone, where you spend day in and day out with them, happy times, maybe worst times of your life, and huge life changes, and still be there at the end together takes just as much work on yourself as it does the other person.

This thought by Gary Thomas intrigues me: What if God designed marriage to make us holy?

I feel like there are three expectations for marriage:

1) Marriage is happily ever after with Mr. Perfect while you’re Mrs. Perfect and life is all hunky dory because everyone are soul mates so therefore they never fight.

2) Happily ever after doesn’t exist, so you just “put up” your spouse and try not to hate them…too much.

3) What marriage is supposed to be….

But #3 isn’t quite clear to me. It’s somewhere more realistic than 1 but not as discouraging as 2… and, depending on the couple, involves God in there somewhere.

As  Savage points out, “If we’re honest, real marriage bring our ‘yuck’ to the surface. Selfishness and pride raise their ugly heads in the everyday life of a normal marriage.”

Nothing brings out our issues, our  weaknesses, and our bad side more than our spouse. If they don’t bring it out, they certainly see it. When we come home from work and are venting an unfiltered amount of hate towards a co-worker, the day we are tired and impatient and snap about something trivial, disagreements over houses and child rearing, dealing with bad days or bad years… Nothing like making two people live together, make decisions together, raise little lives together, shows their flaws more.

The good news is with weaknesses comes opportunity to grow.

My husband and I have been going through the rough stuff lately. Life has piled it on, and took a big neon yellow highlighter to our flaws. There was a moment, where I suddenly realized, “This is why people get divorced.” But we pushed through. We are addressing the issues that were highlighted, many not with our relationship but within ourselves. Now, however we are still working through our issues our relationship is already better than ever.

So, what if God designed marriage to make us Holy more than to make us happy?

Holyness is  “…to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” -Philippians 2:13B NIV

What if marriage was to help refine us to be more like the person God wants us to be? To bring us closer to God and his purpose?

I don’t have an answer exactly of what that specifically looks like, but I know that means the work needs to be not just on your relationship but on yourself. On how you react during the tough moments, how you show love, how you humble yourself to admit and grow through your flaws, and what your own personal priorities are really are.

Do you agree with the idea that marriage could make us more holy?  What about what we talked about with Pride vs. Confidence on Tuesday, how do you see this play into our relationships, like marriage?

Thoughts?

Or just say hi. I’d love to hear from you!

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One thought on “No More Perfect Jen: Marriage’s real purpose

  1. I didn’t respond to the last post because I’ve been dwelling on it. I’ve always thought if Ryan as one of the good kids, and prided myself on the notion that is never have to deal with a mass amount of behavior issues. What a slap in the face this school year has been. However, I feel the humbleness this trial is brining, if I had more discipline and knowledge of biblical child rearing this could be a little different situation, but it’s not, I’ve been doing this “my way.” Message received God, this is the subject were working on!! As for marriage making us more holy, it’s not just marriage, relationship too. Lynn and I are not married in God’s eyes, the law of common people, we are. I’ve struggled with the complexities of our relationship for years, and still am. I’ve changed dramatically in the last 4.5 years I’ve been going to church regularly. God is ever present in my life, and I am still a work in progress. It is admittedly hard to work on a relationship if God is not in the relationship, if both parties are not on the same page, or even communicable about the reality of situations. God is always trying to make us more holy, that intimate relationship that marriage brings forth would be the place to do the most intimate of changes to our personalities and spiritual growth. That’s what I’ve taken away from it anyway. .

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