I really like to know the "why" behind doing something. This desire increases in me especially if I am being asked to commit to something with my time or resources.
I remember when I was in Bible college that the "why" kept me going through late nights, interesting professors and just-above-average food. I knew two reasons for why I was going to Bible college, and that kept me going year after year, while my old high school buddies were working or wasting their time.
First, I clearly knew that God had told me to go to Bible college. I knew I was being obedient and that was really important to me as a new believer. Second, I knew this degree was going to help me as I helped others in future ministry. Understanding the purpose behind getting a degree helped me stay in the process until completion.
Understanding the purpose of marriage can also help all of us stay in the process of marriage. I know there may have been days when you questioned God's wisdom or your own in choosing this marriage. However, as you work through the hours, days or seasons, you come out more committed and bonded and love your spouse even more.
When I truly understand God's purpose for marriage, I can sustain myself through any series of feelings and be happier and more insightful as to what God is doing with me through His purpose in marriage. The secret of the purpose of marriage is in its very creation. Remember that marriage is not a legal entity; rather, marriage is an organic creation of three beings: a trinity on earth as it is in heaven.
To further understand the purpose of your marriage, let me use an analogy that you can relate to. Let's go to the creation of a child. To create a child the seed of a man combines with the seed of a woman. When this man's seed dies totally to itself and God breathes His gift of life, it becomes a totally new creation, a child.
This child will have his own very unique DNA. Your marriage, as a creation by God, also has its unique DNA. This child has a destiny, as does your marriage. As each independent cell gives up its life totally, they merge into this new cell and there is a totally new creation.
In this very same way, God takes an independent man with all of his experiences, foibles, dreams and talents and he is to totally die to himself to create this new creation called marriage. Then God breathes on this death of each person and you have a marriage. The true purpose of marriage is to put to death your flesh and make you Christlike, so you both can become one Christlike flesh. When you think of it, this is so awesome.
God calls Lisa and I to die to ourselves, and then He breathes on this process over the decades, and creates a Christlike creation called marriage. The purpose of marriage is to kill your flesh and create a resurrection of Christ's nature. Some die harder than others, but making us more Christlike is the goal of the miracle of marriage.
If your flesh is being put to death within your marriage, you are achieving God's purpose. Now this changes everything. If I am dying to myself, then I am being more successful in my marriage. If that's the purpose and the measure of my success, that changes everything. I'm not looking to be made happy; I am looking to serve and to die and my dying is up to me, not my spouse.
You might wonder why God would create a system in which, to have a new creation, the old must be sacrificed. Originally, I didn't fully understand this myself. However, sacrifice, even total sacrifice, is a theme throughout the entire Bible, including Christ's total sacrifice for us to become new creations.
Christ Himself didn't die somewhat to save humanity and create a new species of people called Christians. He died totally to give us eternal life and receive His Holy Spirit. The animals that were commanded to be sacrificed were killed totally to be acceptable to God. Even the whole idea of inheritance is predicated on the idea of death.
In the Old Testament, God gave the children of Israel the inheritance of the land. Often, they were to kill everyone in the land to obtain their inheritance. In the New Testament we are given the nature of God Himself through Christ as our inheritance.
To be Christlike we must die to our flesh, so that He can resurrect His life through us. In my experience, His life is so much better than even the best of our human flesh. Therefore, to find the true purpose God has designed for your marriage, you must put aside yourself and become one with your spouse. Without this sacrifice, it will be impossible for you to fulfill the purpose Christ has for your unity.
Doug Weiss, Ph.D., is a nationally known author, speaker and licensed psychologist. He is the executive director of Heart to Heart Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and the author of several books including, Miracle of Marriage. You may contact Dr. Weiss via his website, drdougweiss.com or on hisFacebook, by phone at 719-278-3708 or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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