Jack Black Blake Lively
What if the law required, under penalty of death, arranged marriages? What if the first time you see your spouse would be just moments before you became legally bound to one another, under penalty of death.
That’s absurd, you say? You would not do that, you say? Under the penalty of death people do many things they would not do, normally. So, just go there with me and see if there is any benefit at all in considering this absurd proposition.
The thoughts we go to automatically are: teen suicide will increase, many people will be miserable, some people will actually be elated, for example if Jack Black was assigned to marry Blake Lively. (Not a pleasant thought, unless you are Jack Black)
I want to take an absurd look at marriage, so we can see how absurd marriage has become in our culture today. If I have not lost you yet I want to quote Bible scholar and highly respected biblical counselor, Dr. Jay Adams: “So, while feelings of love are not essential for establishing a marriage contract, they are an inevitable result of properly pursuing it’s terms.”
Am I saying that you do not have to be in love to get married? Well, sort of, allow me to explain. Many people lust their way into marriage and then try to force themselves to become friends later. This is because God’s standards and design for marriage are completely ignored, even by most people who call themselves Christians. I know some very godly people who have God centered marriages and the majority of them started and maintained their pre-marital relationship in a God honoring way. The others in this group of God centered marriages had to do a total rebuild after a major crisis.
I have found that many couples facing marital crisis married for a variety of reasons that include: romantic love, last two unmarried people in a circle of friends, “it was Vegas, we were wasted” and the list goes on. The issue is complex and not properly dealt with in one blog post but allow me to leave you with something for today.
1. Biblical, God honoring, marriage is about loving and serving another person to the glory of God. Romantic love will wax and wane in that relationship but true love will deepen into a real companionship.
2. Marriage is about becoming a whole new person. When two people cleave to one another this new situation requires change from each individual.
3. Competing interests will never work; you both should have the same priorities in life. For example Christ must be the first priority in each person’s life. See Matt. 6:33. This is how you keep from lusting your way into marriage, or getting wasted in Vegas.
By the way, the whole: “til death due us part” thing, that’s biblical and comes from understanding what a covenant entails. God, according to His revealed word considers marriage a covenant. See next post for more on this concept.
If you are in marital crisis we have confidential help. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. If your crisis is thinking you may never find the right person, then by faith begin to live out Mat. 6:33 and let God arrange your marriage. After all, marriage is God’s idea and God’s design for a multitude of purposes, including bringing glory to Himself.
Andy Goode is a Biblical Counselor and Pastor in South West Alabama. This blog is about strengthening marriages and providing biblical direction for everyday issues.