First, I’d like to say: please don’t think you can’t read this if you’re single or something. I love you, too! That said, recently, I’ve been binging (bingeing? Oh, well) on marriage stuff, ever since Revolution Church kicked off our relatively short marriage series, Man vs. Wife. You can listen to what a woman is called to be here, and what a man is called to be here.
Not only am I listening to the sermons at my own church, but I am also listening to Mark Driscoll’s Real Marriage series. As with 60% of the population, I come from a broken home, because my parents had a broken marriage. Literally, it split them up. So, suffice to say that I have never really had biblical roles in marriage played out for me. I never realized how much that affected my view of God until my pastor, Josh, began preaching about what we are called to be as men and women who are following Christ. And then it was this amazing, “Aha!” moment of, “That’s what that is supposed to look like! That’s what God’s love for me looks like! That’s what I’m supposed to be! That’s who I am in Jesus!” and much more.
So here goes a bullet list of my thoughts and what I’ve learned from all of this (some of it will be my notes on it):
- First of all, married people are broken people. They are not sinless. Marriage does not fix all of your problems. In fact, it may (actually it will) make them worse. When two broken people enter into a marriage covenant, their brokenness is infinitely multiplied. A marriage is made up of two really good forgivers. Not two people who always get it right and “just go together.”
- Something that I did not realize until recently (and even once I did realize it, I had no clue what it looked like) is that marriage is a picture of the gospel.
- This is why Satan attacks marriages. He does not want to the world to see Christ through us, he wants the world to see a broken image of broken homes and broken people, and never get to seeing the redemptive power of Jesus through that brokenness. Because when people see Jesus’ redemptive power, they get saved.
- Satan knows that if he can destroy a marriage, especially a Christian marriage, he can affect entire generations. He can have your children, your grandchildren, and your great-grandchildren.
- Most of us have personal pain caused by a broken marriage. Either our own marriage, or our parents’ marriage, maybe even our grandparents’ marriage, or someone else who’s close to us.
- Satan is going to attack your marriage. We need to be prepared, not just theologically or biblically, but practically. We can have the best theological knowledge about marriage in the entire world, but if we never prepare practically, we are doomed to fall.
- “The deepest intimacy of all is spiritual intimacy. And if you don’t build your relationship on spiritual intimacy, invariably, it will fail.” -Mark Driscoll
- Something else I didn’t fully realize until recently: leaving your father and mother when you get married means leave your father and mother. You detach. You’re on your own. Do not involve your extended family in the issues of your immediate family (i.e. your spouse and children). Their schedule, their finances, do not become entangled in yours.
- The order of these four things will make or break your marriage. The order is: 1) Your friendship with Jesus Christ, 2) your friendship with your spouse, 3) your friendship with your kids, and 4) your job (both as a provider and as a father, or your job as a mother to your children). When you get an inversion in these things, you will fall, or already have fallen.
- Want to defeat Satan in your marriage? You do it with the blood of the Lamb.
- There is a difference between a testimony and a biography. In a biography, we’re the hero. It’s all about, “I did this and this, and now I’m happy.” A testimony means that Jesus Christ is the hero. It’s all about, “I was lost, but now I’m found, and Jesus is amazing for redeeming me, regardless of whether or not I’m happier now than I was before.”
- Our marriage should be a testimony, not a biography.
- Our testimonies can never be, “Jesus went to the cross and died for sinners.”
- Our testimony has to be: “Jesus went to the cross and died for my sins, and here they are, and the blood of the Lamb was literally shed in my place, for my transgressions, to remove my shame, to cleanse my sin, and remove my filth, so that I would have a testimony.”
- This is because if we say that Jesus died for sins, but we never talk about our sin, then it’s because, deep down, we don’t believe Jesus died for US. And we don’t really believe that his resurrection is the hope for our life (either our own, or our life with our spouse).
- If Jesus changes you, and Jesus changes your spouse, you can have a new marriage with the old spouse. You do not need a new spouse, you need to be a new spouse. Judge yourself first, not just your spouse.
There’s a lot more I’ve learned, and I may post more later. But that pretty much sums up what I think are some of the major points.