Updated: May 9, 2020
This year I will be celebrating 5 years of marriage! (Yayyy!) Our journey has not been easy, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. There are so many opinions out there on marriage. Culture pushes this obsession with getting married from a young age mainly towards young girls. Yet, this same culture holds little regard for it, with divorce rates hovering around 50% (both for Christians and non-Christians). Marriage is presented as an “end goal”. There is plenty of pressure to get engaged and have a photo perfect ceremony and a lit reception, but little is being pushed about marriage itself. What even is marriage?
If you are single, please keep reading! What I’m going to share is not just for married couples or people that are dating. The best time to learn about marriage is before you are actually married! Think about it? When is the best time to study for the exam? Before or during? Exactly! So let’s continue.
As Believers, we need to keep in mind 3 things when preparing their hearts for marriage: 1) God’s View of Marriage, 2) God’s Order in Marriage, and 3) A Woman’s Role in Marriage.
God’s View of Marriage
First off, God loves marriage! It was His idea and He sees it as good! In Matthew 19:4-6 Jesus gives a summary of what God thinks about marriage. What is this view you ask? God’s view is two whole people coming together to make one unit. Notice I said two “whole” people. Marriage does not complete you. How do I know? Other than knowing my husband doesn’t complete me, God showed us that.
This verse from the gospel according to Matthew, is Jesus quoting Genesis chapter 2. The good times, when people lived in paradise and nothing was bad. Adam had purpose,, a job, and a direct relationship with God before he was joined with Eve. When God presented Eve to Adam, she had a clear role of helping Adam have dominion over the garden. She too had purpose and access to God for herself.
Since it was God’s idea, He holds marriage in such a high regard. Throughout the old and new testament, He uses marriage as a symbol of His relationship with His people. Jesus said that when He returns, it will be for His bride, the Church. If God has a high view of marriage, then those that believe of Him should too. This means not rushing in because there’s pressure from the outside world.
God’s Order in Marriage
All relationships call for levels of submission and cooperation. Marriage is no different. Ephesians 5:33 describes a man loving his wife and a woman submitting to her husband. In the world’s current culture the word submission has become more like a cuss word. But as followers of Christ, we are called to submit to God’s will and to one another (Philippians 2). Submission is not a death sentence, but rather an opportunity for cooperation inside and outside of marriage.
I must be honest, submission did not come easy for me. I struggled with trusting authority for various reasons from my past. However, the Lord softened my heart in this area while me and my now husband were dating. The Lord taught me how to respect him. Respect is a key ingredient for submission. We cannot expect to submit to someone that we don’t respect. Women desire respect too, so we cannot demonize men for wanting the same thing.
Submission simply means being under a mission. Every marriage should have a clear mission/vision that it is working towards. As the leader, the husband is responsible for keeping to that vision. The wife is not blindly following, but rather helping the marriage get to where it needs to be. Also, in submitting to my husband I’m exercising more strength. It is easy to be messy and rebellious. It takes maturity to come under authority. When our marriage is operating in God’s order, my husband as the leader and I as his helper, I can clearly see the positive impact on our relationship. This does not make me beneath him, but rather beside him.
A Woman’s Role in Marriage
Proverbs 31 is very familiar, but is a great example for a godly woman’s role inside of her marriage. Also worth noting, this proverb comes from a king who was taking the advice of his mother, a woman! We learned that God’s order has the husband as the leader, but through this proverb we see the wife has a critical role as helper. This proverb goes on to describe all the ways a wife can help her household. Whether working inside or outside, keeping the home, being a #Boss, everything a wife does can benefit her family.
Women are amazing! If you believe what God’s word says about us, then you already know that we are gifted, talented, and called to do great things for His Kingdom. Getting married does not diminish that. Marriage allows two people to come together and work towards a common vision that ultimately will honor God.
The role a woman will play in her marriage will be directly impacted by how she sees herself during singleness. Saying “I do” does not flip a switch and make you a perfect keeper of the home or partner. While you are single, make sure you are building a relationship for yourself with God. Discern what passions you have which will help you figure out your purpose. Being whole and having a sense of identity and purpose will make you a better woman and a better wife.
Let Faith and Life Collide
I have a few challenges, both for those single, in a relationship, and already married.
To my single ladies: If you are single, that’s fine! You are not late, you are not less than. Husbands are nice, but they do not define you. Let Jesus do that because He is the only one who knows you well enough to do that. This is your season to go after all that God has for you with no distraction or obligation to another person. Use this time to develop and grow. If you sit around waiting for your knight in shining armor to show you, he’ll be unimpressed with your lack of direction and growth.
To those in dating relationships: Evaluate if this is heading towards marriage. That means talk to your boyfriend. Ask him where he sees things going for the relationship. Ask yourself if you respect him enough to submit to where he’s heading in life. If no, then evaluate if this is the relationship the Lord has for you. If it is, what healing do you need to go through in order to learn respect?
To the married women: Be nice and respectful towards your husband! Trust me, I know that the new car smell of the relationship can fade pretty quickly as life goes by. It is up to us to make sure we are still honoring, still helping, and still contributing to our families, no matter how long it has been. Check in with your husband, make sure y’all are still on the same page. If not, go to the Lord and get connected again.
I’d love to hear other suggestions from you! Comment down below what you think about marriage. Is there anything about God’s view, order, or your role that’s hard to accept? Let me know!