… Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready… Revelation 19:6-7 ESV
As a little girl I spent hours playing with my Barbie dolls. I loved to dress Barbie up in her beautiful sparkling wedding gown, with perfect hair, and that ridiculous figure as she made her way down the aisle to her Ken. They say I do, they kiss, and they live in their Barbie Dream House with a swimming pool. And then Barbie went on her way to fix her home exactly as she liked it. Matching curtains, a canopy bed, a pink bathroom, adorable high heeled shoes, and even a cute baby in the high chair who always smiled. I mean, it is every little girl’s dream.
Looking back, I am pretty sure that Ken got left in the corner after the wedding ceremony. He did his part. He said, I do. Now it was time for him to take a back seat so Barbie could fix her home exactly as it suited her (ahem, me).
I must admit that I truly believed before I got married that the point of marriage was to make me happy. My perfect wedding day, my perfect house, my perfect children, and my husband needed to make sure he was on board to make me happy. Boy was I in for a rude awakening.
I married a wonderful, godly man who has his own opinions and ideas and feelings. And often times his feelings weren’t the same as mine. His ideas and his way of doing things were different than mine. He was raised in a different home with different parents so it only makes sense he was going to do things differently. And different isn’t wrong. Different is just... well different.
The first year and half of our marriage was quite challenging. He was trying, but my expectations made it awfully difficult. If I was unhappy, it must have been his fault. After months of being unhappy, God in His infinite wisdom and grace made us both realize, somewhere along the way, that we had lost our focus. We had not put Christ in the center of our marriage. Like Ken doll, I had somehow tossed the Lord aside after I said, I do and I went on my way to do things just as I pleased. Our marriage was pretty miserable and the Lord convicted my heart that it wasn’t my husband’s job to make me happy. He was and is a great man, but he is not the perfect man. The only perfect man to set feet on this earth was Jesus Christ and I had lost sight of Him. You see the goal of marriage is not to be happy, the goal of marriage is to reflect Christ.
The relationship that God set up between Jesus Christ and His Church (us, His people) is the marriage relationship. Not a brother to a sister, not a father to a daughter, not a friend to a friend. God beautifully paints the marriage portrait of Christ as the Groom and us as His Bride. Christ died for her and gave Himself up for her so that we may live a full, free, and abundant life; and out of this love, we reflect Christ. Marriage is to be a mirror image of Christ’s love for His People. Loving and serving one another unconditionally, dying to selfishness, building the other one up, all to point others to Christ.
Do you realize that the marriage you are in today was meant to be a reflection of Christ’s love towards His People? We are called to look like Christ in all that we say and do. I know that many of us forget this also applies to the marriage relationship. None of us are married to the perfect man and none of us are the perfect woman. Marriages take a lot of hard work. I know that God loves you, loves your marriage, and loves the sweat, prayers, and tears that you put into it so that you can look more like Christ to a world that is always watching and waiting. If marriage is meant to portray the picture that Christ has for His Church, is it any surprise that Satan does all he can to destroy it and to tear us apart?
I don’t know what state you find your marriage in today, but I know that Christ sees you, knows you, loves you, and is able to give you His Strength to make it better. Just like I had lost my focus and had unrealistic expectations, you may be finding yourself in the same place. It may be time to turn your marriage over to Him, so that He can make it something more beautiful than you ever imagined!
God we come before You today on behalf of every woman that reads this and every marriage that is reflected. We ask that You dramatically shift our focus from our happiness to Christ’s holiness. Help us to see our own flaws and mistakes and make the adjustments in our hearts that allow us to reflect You. Show us the areas where we can do better and give us the courage to ask for help when we need it. Pour Your blessings out on the women who want to grow in You, and use their marriage to be a testimony to a world who needs to see Christ’s love.
For daily reminders to help you grow in your marriage, I recommend the-generous-wife.com which is a blog written by a Christian wife to give practical tips and biblical insight to being kind, loving, and generous in your marriage.