I'm getting married in May. My fiancé and I dated for three years before we got engaged and couldn't be more excited to start our lives together. But in reflecting on marriage and getting married in a culture that frankly has forgotten what marriage means, I wanted to share three reasons why I believe marriage matters.
Whether you've been married for years, are engaged like me, or are hoping to be married one day, I hope you'll feel a renewed appreciation for marriage today.
Marriage is a commitment.
And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19:4-6 (NASB)
Marriage, as God intended it, is a lifelong commitment. I like to think about it as going "all in"—as in a game of poker. In that moment, you've bet everything you have on the cards in your hand. Talk about commitment.
But here's the thing about going all in: you have to give that commitment everything you've got. If you have 100 in chips and bet 99—that's not going all in—it's leaving room for error. It's saying, "just in case I'm wrong, I'm going to leave a safety net—something that'll keep me in the game."
In our culture, no-fault divorce is that safety net. It's our room for error, just in case we decide that we were wrong—that we want to take it back, that we deserve a better hand. But marriage deserves better. And marriage in its true form—committed for life—is a beautiful thing.
Marriage teaches us selflessness.
Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. Colossians 3:18-19 (NASB)
We live in a "selfie" culture. So it shouldn't surprise us that marriages often end when one person (or both) feels like they're not getting what they need—whether it's more time, more excitement, more flexibility, more attention, more appreciation, more financial security, more, more, me, me.
In reality, marriage is about giving of yourself to another person. It's about balance, compromise, and being better together.
My fiancé and I are pretty opposite in a lot of ways. He's outgoing and great with people, while I am more introverted. We both face different challenges in life and have many different interests. I can't read The Velveteen Rabbit without crying, and he prefers to hunt and cook rabbit for dinner. I like light, happy movies, and he's all action and comedy. I love my Arizona teams, and he's a diehard Lakers, Niners, and Kings fan (that in itself is a challenge).
But for all our differences, we have just as many things that we enjoy and share together. And no matter what we're going through, or what we're doing on date night, it's always better because we're together. We're going into our marriage eyes wide open and willing to make whatever individual sacrifices are necessary in order to make our family stronger as a whole.
Marriage reflects God's love for us.
So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. Ephesians 5:28-30 (NASB)
I firmly believe that love doesn't depend on what you feel—love is a choice. In the same way, marriage is making the choice to love another person and show it for the rest of your life.
This is the love that we enjoy as believers in Christ. God reveals His love for us every day when He forgives us, and when He shows us mercy and grace. Human beings are so imperfect that we can't help but fall short time and again, but we are a part of God's family, and He chooses to love us anyways. That's who He is.
I couldn't be more thankful for all of the married couples who have been examples to me of commitment, selflessness, and God’s unconditional love through the way they love each other. By God’s grace, my prayer is that my marriage will also be a blessing to others, and serve as a practical demonstration of the love God has shown us.
Share Your Story
We’re surrounded by negative portrayals of marriage in popular culture, celebrity divorces in the news, and inaccurate statistics about the failure of Christian marriages. This month we're featuring stories from couples who are engaged, married five years, ten years, twenty, and longer. Share your story and encourage someone today!