The Purpose of Marriage

The Purpose of Marriage

The Purpose and Attributes of a Successful Christian Marriage

God’s purpose for marriage is to honor Him. This relationship called marriage is analogous to the relationship God has with His children. It's the second most important relationship you’ll ever have. Everything we do in our marriage is to honor God through the relationship.

Marriage can be compared to a game of table tennis or ping pong. This union we call marriage is a big deal. It's not just a game—it's something way bigger. If you think about marriage, the goal of marriage is for both individuals to be winners in the relationship. It's not about just hitting it back and forth and keeping it going. That's great, but it's about a bigger purpose. It's about honoring God. When approaching the wedding runner, a couple has made all the plans and the flowers are ordered, the caterer is secured, and you have this big day. That's awesome. But we need to think beyond the big day to the big experience of honoring God in the totality of what a marriage is all about.

Six Attributes of a Successful Christian Marriage

Take the time to develop these six ways to build a thriving relationship in a successful Christian marriage.

#1. Become a servant. 

In Matthew 20:26, Jesus told His disciples, “If you want to become great, become a servant.” If your potential spouse is not serving God, they will not serve you the way God intended them to serve. It's human nature to think about ourself alone, but marriage forces us to think about the other person. People will always say that kids make you unselfish. Well, then you've missed it. Because kids do force us to be unselfish, but marriage should first force us to be unselfish. I serve God and I serve my spouse.

#2. Keep kindness in play. 

Ephesians 4:32 says, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Because when we think about the kindness, the gentleness that God has offered us, then we in turn should reflect that in our relationship with our spouse, our relationship with our children, and our relationship with others.

#3. Avoid spins and slams. 

Proverbs 15:1 says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” It’s easy to spin our arguments into something that reflects favorably on ourselves. We can respond in anger, or we can choose to respond with love. We also need to refrain from talking badly about our spouse with others. The vulnerabilities we share with each other should not be repeated outside the marriage.

#4. Play on your side of the table. 

Celebrate your differences. What I mean is, your spouse may not be good at some things that you’re good at. Don’t compare and play the blame game. There's a fine line between critique and criticism. Be careful of coming onto the other side of the table and trying to control your spouse.

#5. Don’t keep score. 

Jesus said, "If you lose your life, you gain it." Matthew 10:39. Let the things of the past be in the past. Many people reading this are thinking, ‘Wait a minute, you just don't know the pain, the betrayal that I've experienced.’ I don't, but God does. 

The plan of salvation is that God took the pain, the difficulties, the sin, and the shame of the past and He spilled his blood so all that could be forgiven and reconciled and we can have a relationship with God. And if He did that for us, then that's what our path should look like. So whatever pain you've gone through, start today with the practices that God wants you to have. Then you can look forward to the future and a successful relationship and marriage.

#6. Stay at the table. 

Play together, lay together, pray together, and you'll stay together.

Play together. 

Sometimes you have interests that do not interest your spouse, and that’s okay. But it’s important to find things to do together, things you both enjoy.

Lay together. 

We’re talking about intimacy here, physical intimacy. I'm saying day in and day out, when you're just ping-ponging, sometimes someone wants to ping and the other one does not want to pong.  But we should count it a privilege to be able to fulfill our spouse`s needs. We should count it a privilege that we're the chosen one to do that, and whenever we get that out of kilter, we're setting ourselves up for marital failure. Always remember that it's a privilege. 

Determine how you’re going to handle the other’s needs. Consider having a 24-hour rule: “Not tonight, but tomorrow.”  But the overarching fact is that intimacy in marriage is way more than a physical thing. It's a spiritual thing. It's an emotional thing. 

Pray together. 

Spiritual leadership is important to be demonstrated between a husband and wife, and the husband should lead in this. Too often the husbands don't lead, so the wife picks up the mantle and starts running with it. The word husband is “house band.” You are the one who is responsible for banding your house together under the leadership of God. 

So, pray with your spouse, pray with your children. Pray about your kids' salvation. Pray about practical things that may seem silly to you, but they're huge... your child sleeping through the night, potty training, schoolwork. Pray for you and your spouse`s careers. Whatever it is, just bring it to God because you're not only showing that you, as a husband and a wife, have God at the center of your relationship, but you're teaching your children that your family is God-centric.

Answer Jesus’ Call

The bottom line of all of this is that the ball is in your court. It really is. It's about Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He rose again, and He says, ‘Okay, the ball's in your court. You receive me, my forgiveness, and grace so you're reconciled to God through what Jesus did.’ And that will play out in your marriage, your child-rearing, and your career. Remember though, that it's about Jesus and His grace and love for you and me.

Next Steps

If you’d like to take that next step and invite Jesus to live within you, simply ask Him to forgive your sins and become Lord and Savior of your life. There is no better time than right now. If you just received salvation, know that all of Heaven is rejoicing with you.

We invite you to join us in person or online at Fellowship Church, where we continue to follow God’s design for building successful, purposeful Christian marriages. 

Related Sermon

This blog post is based on the sermon delivered by Ed Young on Mar 01, 2020. Want to learn more? Watch the related sermon.

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