As I enter that time in life where my children grow into adults and my friends’ children do the same, marriage is a hot topic. And our grown-up kids are bombarded with unsolicited advice:
“Don’t get married unless you’re ready.”
“Don’t get married too young.”
“Don’t get married too old.”
“Don’t get married and have a baby right away.”
“Don’t get married and wait too long to have a baby.”
Seems we have constructed “perfect parameters” for the major milestones in life and those who fall outside of them are, well, not perfect. Or something.
And I tell you what I think…I think we really don’t get marriage. And I mean even those of us who think we do are so immersed in a secular view of it that we forget. We don’t know what it’s for and so our “advice” becomes empty and even destructive.
The purpose of marriage.
First, marriage is something God made, not us, and so He gets to determine its purpose. The very first glimpse of marriage that God gave us is still our clue into why He created it. Basically, Adam had a big job to do and he needed someone to help him do it.
And what was that big job? The same one we still have. Our complete existence in this life is to make known the glory of God and the reign of Christ on earth.
Not only that, but marriage was the way God would speak to the world about His unconditional love for His Church. He needed a real-life demonstration.
But the vast majority of us think marriage is to make us fulfilled and happy. Or worse, that marriage is something to delay so one can be fulfilled and happy first. Fulfillment and happiness are a common by-product of marriage, not its purpose.
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