How could marriage ever be a sin? Isn’t marriage God’s will for our lives? Look at all the happily married couples in our church. How could God ever frown upon such a beautiful sight? If it weren’t for marriage you wouldn’t be around young man.
These are thought you may have right now as you read the title of this article or perhaps you have some different thoughts. Regardless where you find yourself in life, be it married or single, everyone seems to have strong feelings regarding this topic.
I should mention from the start that I have nothing against marriage, but with a divorce rate near fifty percent both inside and outside the church, I have to wonder if marriage is the best option for everyone. This seems like an odd thing to say in a society where junior high girls look at bridal magazines in the hopes of eventually finding someone to be happy with for the remainder of their lives. Yet it is this attitude that has caused many people a lot of misery.
This misery comes from believing a few lies about relationships. The first is that God is not enough to meet our needs and the other is that someone or something else can do a better job. Take marriage for instance. For some marriage is all about having someone to meet our ‘unfulfilled needs.’ Perhaps they come from an abusive situation and thus struggle with insecurity. They want to feel a person of worth and thus they dream what life could have been like and then look for someone to make that dream a reality. Or maybe they come for a stable family, but it was wrong to express emotion and thus no hugs were given and kissing was considered taboo. This person wants to feel loved and thus dreams about what a family would be like where hugs could be freely exchanged and the three word phrase of, ‘I love you,’ could be expressed without shame.
Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing wrong about looking for someone to meet our need of worth or to fulfill our yearning we all have to be loved. In fact we all have these needs and we all need to get them fulfilled in some way, but the question is where can we meet this need? In Psalm 34:10 it mentions, “The lion may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.” This seems to indicate that through God all our needs will be fulfilled, including of deepest needs that cause many of us to get married. In Psalm 103:11,12 we find that, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” If we really have experienced God’s love then the love we get from each other would seem to be an extra bonus. We need to find our ultimate fulfillment in His love before we can best appreciate the love we receive from others.
Only God can meet our need to feel like we are a person of worth and it is only though Him that we can discover what it means to be loved. Our marriage partner will disappoint us eventually. You may have married the ‘perfect man’ of the ‘perfect woman’ but in the end they will fall short of our expectations and when these are not being met we end up in despair and depression that can end in some life altering decisions being made such as divorce. To prevent this spiral from taking place and before we say ‘I do’ into someone’s eyes it is best to look up and say ‘You only do I need.’ When this happens we go into marriage for all the right reasons, namely to best fulfill the calling God has placed on each of our lives to be holy just as he is holy.