Looking for That Special Someone Day 2: The Goodness of Marriage
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them. (Colossians 3:18-19, ESV)
There are many reasons marriage is good. As mentioned yesterday, the foremost reason is that God created it. There is nothing that God created that isn’t good. But why should marriage be something we pursue? Why not just have a relationship outside of marriage? There are certainly many in our world today who would advocate that. Why go through the hassle of a wedding, a legal/religious “contract,” and all the rigmarole? Again, there are many reasons. I think I’ll limit this to three basic ones (outside of the fact that God created and designed marriage).
First, the relationship is good. As noted yesterday, God prepared Eve specifically for Adam. He created woman to enter into a relationship with man. He even mentioned it wasn’t good for the man to be alone. In creating women (and marriage), He opened up the availability of the marriage relationship. As quoted in Colossians 3 above, this means a submissive wife and a loving husband. As these characteristics coexist, a marriage is greatly strengthened. The relationship itself is good for both. Think about this verse: “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil” (Ecclesiastes 4:9, ESV). Husband and wife both benefit when a biblical marriage exists. They should help, listen, pray, preserve, support, encourage, and challenge each other. They should love, care, and provide for each other. How could that not be good? I cherish the fact that I can talk with my wife about anything, confident that she’ll listen and do her best to help. I have friends and family that I love dearly, but nobody can take her place.
Second, family is good. Outside of a traditional marriage, the makeup and blessing of a family is greatly challenged. For those that want to have or adopt children, the establishment of a family can be a great blessing. While the responsibility is tremendous, being a father and mother (in addition to a husband and wife) is God-ordained and good. It gives us the ability to bear testimony of God Himself. The Son of God submitted to His Father (Matthew 26:39); the Father loved His Son (John 3:35); believers are called the children of God (1 John 3:1). So when we fulfil the roles of husbands, wives, and parents, we are given the honor of representing our God! Providing we biblically fulfil those roles, how could that also not be good? Despite all the challenges associated with it, I love my family. I love being a husband and a father. I love all the memories I’ve been fortunate to be a part of in this life we’ve lived together. Honestly, I can’t imagine life without my wife and daughters (and I don’t want to)! I also love being a son, a brother, and an uncle—even more memories and experiences!
Finally, discipline is good. A strange word, yes, but when I think of how good marriage has been for me, that’s one word I can’t help but come back to. Marriage has taught me self-discipline. Paul says that a married man focuses on what he must do to please his wife (1 Corinthians 7:33). Before, I was more (primarily) focused on myself. The understanding that I’m not the most important person in the world was life changing. Thanks to a wife who was already others-minded, marriage has taught me to be less selfish. And that’s a good thing. The more we focus on others and less on ourselves, the more we’ll be like Jesus. He consistently met the needs of others without being concerned for Himself. Of course, everyone can—and should—learn from His example and follow it. While I’m not some master specimen of godliness, I admit to cringing at what I was like 20-25 years ago (sorry to everyone that knew me). For me, marriage has been a tangible teacher for which I’m thankful.