Having a Biblical and Fulfilling Marriage
December 21, 2020
Psalms 145:15-16, NLT
“The eyes of all look to you in hope; you give them their food as they need it. When you open your hand, you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.”
One of the biggest buzz words you will hear concerning marriages in these modern times is the word compatibility. It seems like so much focus is placed up being “compatible” with each other and if you are not compatible then that means that you are not going to have a happy marriage. The main definition is being compatible is with two or more things can exist or work together without conflict. Now let me be honest, my hope for my wife and I is not simply to exist without conflict! My hope is that our relationship would be one in which we experience all that God has designed for marriage. But how can this be possible?
When we look at the way the world looks at marriage and the role it plays in a person’s life, we will see that there is another element that is expected to be in marriage. This is fulfillment. So now not only do we need to be compatible with the person who we desire to marry or are already married to, but that person must also fulfill my needs. Those may be needs for emotional support, physical intimacy, company, time, money, and the list could go on and on. Think about it, how many times have we heard of a divorce happening and one of the people involved makes a statement like this one, “I just wasn’t getting what I needed out of the marriage”.
The believe that there are two questions that I have for us to wrestle with today. The first of these questions is this, why do you want to get married? Now, at first this may seem like a pretty simple and straightforward question. The first answer that I believe most people would respond with would be something like, because I love them. They may also go on to talk about how much they have in common and how well they get along. Essentially saying, we are compatible and love each other. I want to remind you however of the most important reason that we should desire to marry someone and it has nothing to do with our feelings or our compatibility. The number one reason that we should desire to marry someone is because God has told us to marry that person. We can focus so much on finding the right person that we fail to ask the only One who truly knows who that person is. We should seek the person that God has for us and obey Him always.
The second question that I have for us to reflect on today is this, what do you expect to get out of marriage? In many ways this is actually fundamentally wrong question to ask from the start. Marriage should never be about what you get out of it, it should be about what you give. So often a person believes that marriage should fulfill them and as soon as they begin to believe that the relationship is not giving them what they want or what they believe they need, they start thinking about an exit. They may say things like, that person is not making me happy, they don’t listen to me, they don’t care about me, they don’t support me, they don’t provide for me. They believe that their husband or wife is the one who is responsible for making them happy and meeting all of their needs. When this happens, it is no wonder that marriages often end in divorce. The simple fact is, no husband and no wife is capable of meeting all the needs of their spouse. If the requirement were that a husband and wife make each other happy then I want to tell you that virtually every marriage relationship would end in divorce.
Here is the reality of the situation, the desire that each and everyone of us have to be fulfilled can be only be met by Jesus Christ. When a husband and a wife come to that realization and understanding and begin to look to Christ as the supplier of all their needs and Christ and the one to bring contentment and joy into their live, they are freed from the expectation that they must be those things to each other. I do not seek or expect that my wife makes be happy and content. I recognize that those things only come when I am in relationship with Jesus. As a husband though, I do expect that I will work to love my wife just as Jesus loves her, without condition or without expectation that I will receive anything in return. Likewise, my wife does not seek or expect that I will supply all of her needs and the source of joy in her life. She knows that those things are only when she is in relationship with Jesus. Her focus is on how to love me, respect me, and submit to me just as the Church is to do those things to Christ.
When we understand that marriage is not about being compatible with someone or about finding fulfillment and happiness, we are free to begin to understand what marriage truly is. Marriage is a gift from the Lord in which we can both experience and demonstrate the relationship intimacy that God desires to have with us. So many Christians have heard the verse which tells us to seek first the Kingdom of God and al of these things will be added to us, and I want to say that this is also true in marriage. Put Christ first in your marriage and seek Him both together and individually above anything else. Recognize that He is your Provider and He is the one you brings you joy and fulfillment.