I often scroll through my Facebook page reading all of the statuses and memes about getting married or finding a mate and all that. As I sip my (very) occasional glass of red wine, I laugh.
Why? Because key points are being missed. It is so much more than what folks tell you mainly because they are painting a picture of marriage as this existential state of kisses and moonlight. Marriage is more than that.
Marriage is work. And I don’t mean like “we have to love each other” work but work like a job that never ends. You go through a conquer the world phase of love and then? Then it’s about which one of you will pick up the kids. Who is responsible for cooking. And cleaning the toilet. Which dream gets priority. What bills get paid in what order. Why the sex drives don’t match no more. Who has to take the L on in-laws. It is not pretty many days.
And then, God designed marriage as a scrubbing process. Every little thing that is wrong with you will be amplified: self centeredness, selfishness, neediness, control issues, insecurities, laziness–whatever secret problems you have will not only come to light but take the spotlight. The ugly places in both your hearts become visible in behaviors that you never knew you had until you have to live as a true unit with another human being who has his/her own flaws. God uses marriage to root out those terrible character flaws so that they can be addressed. But if you aren’t willing to take a look in the mirror, you will find yourself miserable and wondering what happened to the love when you ought to be figuring out how to be grounded in God’s kind of love because
Marriage is really about truly serving someone else. God’s love is first about service. In the beginning God created a world full of everything that we would need before creating us. Then,when we faltered, God created a perfect person who opened the door for us to live in fullness of God’s presence again. It is your duty as a spouse to create the conditions for fullness in God for the person you marry. This means many different things to different people, but whatever your spouse needs you are supposed to be the conduit through which God fulfills the need. This means that your cup should be full of God’s spirit as much as possible; otherwise you will die a slow death trying to serve from an empty cup of self. You cannot serve from an empty vessel and if you do not understand what your relationship means as a covenant, you will serve from bitterness and envy and anger and resentment rather than the fulness of God’s love.
And finally, marriage does not complete you. You call to yourself that which you are. If you are incomplete, then you will call an incomplete person to yourself. And what I have found is that they are missing the exact same things as you! How shall the blind lead the blind?
It is true that you become one–but not one like two halves of an orange make a whole orange. No, you become one unit in the way that one bird has two wings or a bicycle has two wheels. If both are broken–heck, if one is not working, the other also doesn’t function right either. Imagine where you’ll get with both being in need of repair.
As you ask God to send you a partner, ask God to send you a person who is whole after you ask God to make you whole. Then you will be able to fulfill the covenant that you sign up for without years of stress, fear, brokenness, and pain.