“Marriage was never meant to be about me. It’s always been a great allegory of the love between Christ and the Church – of which I am a part, and am invited to partake in the fullness of. Of which all of us are invited to partake in. See, it’s this cosmic love story, the most beautiful of them all — and one created, as all things are, to display the glory of God, time and time again.”
If you were to take the time to sit down with a single, conservative Christian girl for an hour and ask her what her life goals are – chances are, you’d be able to predict at least one of the things on her list.
“I want to get married. And have kids.” You and me both, sister.
I’m generalizing here, I know. Not every conservative girl thinks this way, while I also know that many guys have parallel aspirations.
However, there are a lot of people out there that desire marriage as their ultimate life goal – and I get it.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot. I’ve had so many friends who would answer the same way, ones so excited to finally quit being single and start a new life of their own. But I’ve also been thinking about this goal, this dream, this plan of a life spent with another person, and how so many people get so wrapped up in the idea of having their own family, that they almost begin to worship it – idolizing something created by the God who’s worthy of our worship, not His creation.
Sometimes, marriage and family become the dream, not just a dream. They become the ultimate goal, what so many people live for, place all their hope and satisfaction in.
And I’ll be honest – I’ve thought about them like that, too. A lot of times, we just start to get sick of the season that we’re in and long for the next one – the one that looks better, more beautiful, more glamorous. We make marriage and family an idol, without meaning to.
But here’s the thing about idols. As soon as we take our eyes off of Christ and put them on something temporal – as soon as we take something good and make it the BEST thing in our hearts and minds – we’re setting ourselves up to be disappointed. There is nothing, nothing on this earth that can satisfy like Jesus does.
Not a relationship. Not a spouse. Not a certain number of kids. Not a dog, or a house, or a white picket fence, or a really great job can fill the emptiness in our hearts that exists until we learn to find our full satisfaction in Him.
I’m not saying any of those things are bad; they’re quite amazing, actually. But until we see them as gifts from God — little shreds of goodness in our everyday lives — instead of that ultimate thing that will satisfy all our longings — we set ourselves up to be disappointed.
When we place anything above God in our hearts, we’re only removing the opportunity for the fullness of peace, and joy, and hope that come from Him alone.
I recently read an article about why there won’t be marriage in Heaven, and how a lot of people resent that. But instead of being disappointed, we are to rejoice — if we think marriage is awesome, it pales in comparison to the intimacy we’ll have with our God in Heaven, as the Bride of Christ. And we can get a little glimpse of that here, on earth.
Because that’s what marriage is for. To be a picture of the relationship we’ll one day experience the fullness of with Christ in Heaven.
Marriage was never meant to be about me. It’s always been a great allegory of the love between Christ and the Church – of which I am a part, and am invited to partake in the fullness of. Of which all of us are invited to partake in. See, it’s this cosmic love story, the most beautiful of them all — and one created, as all things are, to display the glory of God, time and time again.
Where can we best glorify God? Wherever we’re placed. If you refuse to glorify God in your singleness, you won’t glorify Him in your marriage. If you don’t place your contentment in Him while you’re single, you won’t find contentment in marriage. If you’re thrilled at the thought of serving a nonexistent future family, but refuse to serve the people around you right now — you’re missing it. When we idolize marriage, we’re all missing it.
These are strong words, yes. But this is why so many people are finding such discontentment in their marriages — their expectations of an unrealistic ideal aren’t being met, and they’ve placed this relationship on a pedestal it never deserved to be on.
Yes, marriage is beautiful. Yes, it’s a holy gift from God. Yes, it’s a worthy pursuit. Goodness gracious, I am so excited for the day when I get to start building a life with a godly man, serving God alongside the one I’ll love.
But we must never lose sight of why we’re getting into relationships and getting married in the first place: to glorify God, and display His love to those around us, while experiencing an earthly taste of the joy we can know in an intimate relationship with God.
I’m not married, but I know this to be true, because the Bible tells us that marriage is ultimately our earthy picture of Christ and us, the Church. Christ loved us, and everything to serve us. We love Him, and choose to give up our everything to serve Him back.
Ephesians 5:31-32 tell us this:
“‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.’ This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.”
(I highly recommend reading the full passage, found in Ephesians 5:22-33.)
Love is beautiful. Relationships are beautiful. Marriage is beautiful. Children are beautiful. They are incredible gifts from God to us on this earth, and I would never want to minimize that.
But we must never forget that in everything we do, we are to glorify God and find our satisfaction, our contentment, and our joy in Him.
He loves. He satisfies. He is Jesus – and He is worthy of worshiping with all of ourselves, our lives, and hearts.