Originally when I sat down to research for this post, it was going to be about sexual purity, but then as I got deeper, and deeper into the abyss of research, I found that the topic of marriage was tugging at my mind. The man in the picture above is my fiancé, so naturally I gave into the idea of writing about marriage and let God lead me wherever He wanted to. Upon my research I found that there are many misconceptions about men, and about marriage, in fact, one of the books my man and I are reading spoke about it in the last chapter we read. In Every woman’s desire by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker, there is a chapter about sex, and the role of the wife and the husband in sex and in the marriage. The authors point out that women do not need sex as much as men do, and the way they are in tuned to it are different as well. The Bible clearly states that husbands and wives are to give themselves to each other and not restrict one another. While many women today see that as binding, slave labor, the Bible sees it as being obedient to God.
For women, the sex train usually starts by the husband being a leader, and showing leadership in the household and relationship. It’s important to remember that while as wives, we have many responsibilities so do our husbands, and even though they may not always wash the dishes or remember our favorite flower, they do other things for us. For example in Christianity Today Marlena Graves says this;
I also know plenty of men who patiently lay down their lives for their families and friends and sometimes even their enemies- even if they don’t initiate family devotions. These men are concretely others- referenced-men who, based on the testimony of their wives, far surpass them when it comes to patience, kindness, and selflessness etc. These men embody love. And I believe they are spiritual leaders.
Graves goes on to say that a spiritual leader is someone who is full of the Holy Spirit and whose fruits of the spirit are always growing and developing. Men are capable of so much more than we, women believe they are, they are not just raving sex addicts, they were built that way so that in marriage they can do what is holy in the sight of the Lord, not only in the bedroom but in leading the family.
Another misconception I’ve come to see is people believing that things will be the same after they get married, and being a child of divorced parents I can testify to the fact that, it is simply not the case. I wondered why people always thought this way and then, in Christianity Today, I came across and article that W. David O. Taylor explains that, no one is willing to show what truly is going on in the marriage. In other words, married couples are not willing to be transparent with their kids.
For those of us who are married, we need to give ourselves permission to live transparently before our neighbors, letting them witness our marriage’s imperfections and tensions, as well as the moments of grace when God rescues us from our worst selves.
This is why getting to know the person you’re about to marry is very important, you have to make sure you know them well before deciding to get married. Emotions last only a little while, Michelle Van Loon puts it this way;
Fleeting emotions of happiness didn’t mark that day, but a sense of deeply rooted joy held us then, and holds us today though the trials and losses have continued to come at us one after another after another.
Marriage is not easy but it is worth is as cliche as that phrase is. This leads me into another misconception, marriage is not a terrible thing. I have often heard people say things like: “Oh man, the old ball and chains” and “This is the end huh?” they make marriage sound like an awful thing which is why so many young adults steer away from marriage for so long. However, marriage was meant to be a beautiful thing, and can be when we are faithful and obedient to God. Mark Regnerus states that fewer than half of American households are made up of married couples. The marriage level in America is continually decreasing, which is sad because God made marriage a good thing. I have also had a family friend tell me, “Aren’t you a little young to get married? You don’t need to rush into marriage, what if you guys don’t like the other one in bed or living together?” all of which to me sounded ridiculous, especially because I believe in Jesus and I want to be in right standing with Him.
What people don’t realize is it is not age that causes divorce, most of the time it is because people are not truly living to please God. Marriage is a way for people to become more holy and righteous in the eyes of God, though it is not the only reason for marriage but it is a main point. My fiancé and I always answer those questions by saying, God has brought us together and kept us together, if God didn’t agree or like what we were doing, it would have ended a long time ago. We aren’t perfect but because of Christ we can love each other more effectively, and we can know what love is because of our love for Christ. Regents puts it this way:
It’s a covenant of mutual submission and sacrificial love, not a contest of prestige, social norms, and saving face.
I am twenty- two going on twenty- three, and I do have much to learn but without being married, how can I learn about being married? There are plenty of older people who are faithful servants to God, and have remained married for many years that got married at a young age. Clearly there is something to be said for those marriages, and it seems to be the connection of God in their lives and marriages. My fiancé and I are gonna mess up, get on each others nerves, be undeservingly mean to the other, but, we are going to repent, ask for forgiveness, confess our wrongs, and work together. Everyone thinks that marriage is hard, and in some ways it is, but I know for a fact it can be full of deep joy and happiness because of God. We will learn a lot about each other, life and God through being married. Men show many attributes of Christ in marriage that we as women, could never know if we weren’t married. Vice versa, women show attributes of Christ that men wouldn’t see otherwise, marriage is a beautiful thing and can make us more beautiful as well.
In the Bible the book of Hosea holds a story about a man that God tells to marry a prostitute, knowing she won’t be faithful to him, he is faithful to God and does what He says despite the knowledge of unfaithfulness. God uses this mans story as a beautiful picture of His undying and married love for us. Jesus is proof of how beautiful a marriage can be, He is married to His bride (the church) and sacrificed more than we could ever sacrifice. He took on our sins, and became sin, so that the Father’s wrath would not come upon us, but He would give us a way to Him. 1 Corinthians, and 2 Corinthians have much to say about love, and marriage, and it is beautiful any way you look at it.
When two people get married, they become one, the act of sex binds them together into one person, they strive for the same thing; to honor, obey, and praise God. If you’re around my age and are worried about getting married, please take time to study marriage in the Bible, talk to people you trust, and I promise you will be okay. Marriage will be a new journey that will challenge and grow you, but, on your way to meet the Father, it will be full of joy.