Marriage Tuesday

last tuesday,  i wrote these words:

“many couples have strong reasons to build a healthy and long-lasting marriages:

  • they are highly motivated to experience personal happiness.
  • they enjoy each other’s company and want it to continue.
  • they recognize the long-term benefits of staying together.
  • they are committed to giving their children a healthy home life.
  • their partnership provides safety and security.

…and as long as one’s partner is essential in meeting those motivational needs,  couples will continue to pursue building a strong marriage.”

i assume since you’re reading this,  you have at least have some interest in the quality of your marriage.

the question is “why?”

for all the talk of unconditional love and submission and serving,  marriage is notoriously self-serving.  and there’s the problem we all face.  even though we talk boldly of putting the needs of our partner above our own,  conflict and dissatisfaction in marriage comes because we are not getting what we want.

some marriages can find balance and long-lasting commitment while both people pursue their own happiness.  if both the husband and wife are reasonably healthy individuals,  it is inevitable that they will create a well-adjusted pattern of give and take that is mutually beneficial and pleasurable for both.

but it is still nothing more than rolling the dice.   again…like i said last week…what if one of the partners changes?  what if a new and more exciting person comes along?   what if options or possibilities for an even happier or fulfilling life comes your way?   what if…what if…what if??

do you have what it takes to stay the course,  say “no”,  and stick with the promises you made?

it depends on who you are and what drives you inside.   it depends on whether you have  motive that is more powerful than your own happiness.

think about it.   marriage can be an expression of the love two people have for each other.   this is a good thing and it works well…as long as the two people continue to love each other.

on the other hand, marriage, as revealed in the sacred book,  is to be a reflection of god’s love for the church (ephesians 5).   my marriage is to serve a much greater and profound purpose than for my happiness and pleasure.

my marriage is designed to show others the character of the divine.   my marriage is to give people a glimpse of the love god has for his people.   my marriage is to imitate the devoted and steadfast love and grace that flows from the heart of god to his creation.

that’s a purpose i can live with.

that’s a purpose that pushes me beyond my own narcissism and self-centeredness.

that’s a purpose that gives me hope and encouragement to own up to my commitments.

that’s a purpose that comes with god’s promises and spiritual power to help us finish the race.

my happiness or god’s glory?   mmmm…   when it comes to motivation, there’s not much of a debate.

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