If we are honest, anybody who's been married for any amount of time wonders at some point: "Did I marry the wrong person?" The truth is, EVERYONE marries the wrong person! This is because every relationship is between two sinners. Two imperfect, deeply flawed people. If you're feeling stuck and wondering how God can heal your marriage, take heart: There is still hope! When you admit to yourself that sin makes you and your partner incompatible from the start, you are set FREE to embrace the one you’re committed to: With all their weaknesses and flaws.
THE MYSTERY OF MARRIAGE
Whether you’re single, dating, married, or single again this February our goal is to learn how to make right what the world has gotten wrong about relationships. In Ephesians 5:31-32, we learn that marriage is a mystery. The Greek word for mystery means hidden, or hard to understand. It also can mean divine insight - a transcendent truth that God reveals through His Holy Spirit.
Right now, there is a growing sense in our culture that traditional marriage as an institution is failing. There are actually three main symptoms of this we have seen over the last 40 years. First is a decline in marriages. For the first time in our nation's history, the majority of adults 18+ are single. Second, we are seeing an increase in divorce. The divorce rate has doubled since what it was in 1960, and now nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. Lastly, as a result of these trends, it's no surprise that now half of adults cohabitate, or live together, before getting married.
THE HISTORY OF MARRIAGE
The decline of marriage that we see today is a modern phenomenon. See, for hundreds of years in Western civilization, the goodness and desirability of marriage was assumed. It was understood that marriage required self-denial, and that one would have to give up certain freedoms to be faithful to their spouse and kids. However, this changed in the 18th and 19th centuries with the enlightenment. Then, the focus of marriage and society became the freedom and happiness of the individual. Instead of valuing protection and procreation in marriage, the value of marriage became preference and pleasure.
HOW GOD CAN HEAL YOUR MARRIAGE
The mystery of marriage is that God designed it to reflect his own radical love for us. Husbands and wives are called to love and serve one another like Christ Jesus served the Church. You see, Christ loved the Church so much that he stretched out his arms on a Cross and died for her. Was the Church a perfect partner? Hardly! The scandal of the Gospel is that God's love looks nothing like our fickle versions of human love. It is fierce, unconditional, and comes precisely when we LEAST deserve it. As Romans 5:8 says, "God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
So, according to the Bible, the one relationship goal every couple needs today is for marriage to reflect the Gospel. When we pattern our lives after Jesus, he fills us with the Holy Spirit, who gives us the supernatural power to sacrifice and put our partner first. From God's perspective, marriage isn't about self-fulfillment; it's all about self-sacrifice. The only wrinkle-free relationship we'll know as humans waits for us with God in Heaven. Until then - while we are broken and flawed human beings, we can lean in to let God transform us with his sacrificial love.
If God can raise His son Jesus from the dead, he certainly can breathe new life into your relationship! To continue learning and building on your relationship goals, check out these additional resources from Liquid Church:
- Listen To Past Relationship Series From Liquid Church: Prepare for some eye-opening lessons as you watch Liquid Church’s different relationship series from the past three years. Click each link to check out the different message series: Relationship Goals; First Comes Love; Love, Sex & Dating.