Marriage is truly an amazing creation. For God to imagine such an incredible way of living and reproducing on this earth. He created man and woman to need each other and to seek to love each other. To fall in love, and give yourself to another for a lifetime is the most amazing relationship on the planet.
A moment between two people can develop into a love relationship that leads to a commitment and vow that binds two hearts together for a lifetime. We are made to be together and to share in the happiness and sorrows of life.
Etched into my mind, is the day that I gave my heart on the wedding altar to my beautiful wife. It was a moment in time that changed everything for me. I remember the moment when I said the most meaningful and powerful words in the language of man, I love you. It is in the sacred act of marriage that those words became truly meaningful.
What is the purpose of marriage? To you, it may be to fulfill a dream of having a family, to experience the joys in the expressions of love, or to have someone who really cares about you.
God however, has a purpose for marriage that is much more meaningful and impactful on eternity. The only way to understand this is to know Him as your personal savior. To have that moment in your life, when you experience the love of Jesus and the forgiveness of sin through salvation. It is just like that moment when I saw my bride, took her hands, and gave my heart to her. This is the moment when you give your heart Jesus.
What is the purpose of marriage? Today we will discover three purposes for the christian marriage. These reasons I find personally convicting and that I fall short of fulfilling.
1. To Share in the Mission
In the book of Acts, before Jesus left this world, he made a promise to his disciples to give them the Holy Spirit. It had always been there, but upon His ascension, they would have the Spirit in their hearts. In and through this act, they would experience the powerful impact of Jesus living through them.
And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.Acts 1: 7-8
Make Disciples for Him
Throughout my life as a christian I have heard people and especially preachers begging and pleading for power. They pray for power to become a great preacher, power to have a personal legacy, and power to have a meaningful life. The power of the Holy Ghost is something entirely different and much more impactful on this world and eternity.
Jesus had found these men and women, and made disciples out of them. Now He promises the power of the Spirit so that they could find and make disciples for Him! The power is to impact lives for eternity through the Gospel message not for your own personal glorification.
Marriage is a union designed by God to enhance the spread of the Gospel message. The two of you together can make a greater impact than one alone. This principle is expressed in the wisdom of the Bible.
Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.Ecclesiates 4:9
It is the mission of making disciples for him that we should engage our efforts in. It is the mission of the christian husband and wife to make disciples. It starts with our babies, our neighbors, and then to the entire world.
Join the Fight of Faith Instead of Each Other
It is hard to fight each other, when you are both busy with the battle for souls. Instead of nagging and criticizing your husband, imagine if you encouraged Him to give out Gospel tracts, or to be a witness on the job.
The problem with christian marriages today, is that we are not in the battle to advance His Church. It is like we care about everything except for what He does. If you can focus your lives together on making disciples, you find a higher purpose than the frivolous fights we get into with each other.
We fight over food, household chores, plans, and completely silly things that don’t really matter. All the while, there is a world full of people who are lost without Christ. There is a great mission that God wants you involved in. It is a mission that is being neglected, a mission to make disciples for Him.
Practical Ways to Fulfill the Mission Together
- Join a good local church. The church is the vehicle that God has chosen to complete His mission. We can do more to impact the world collectively than we could ever do alone. It is an important step to be a part of a local church community.
- Get involved in ministry. Find a place to use your talent in the church. Every christian has a gift that God wants you to use in the church in some way. (see Romans 12) To say that you don’t have a gift that you can use in the church is like calling God a liar! Your gift may be to teach, to play an instrument, to sing, to write, or to be an encourager. Whatever your gift is, you can use it to help the church and to advance the light of the Gospel into a dark world.
- Give money. Make tithing and regular giving a part of your budget. This gives the church resources to fulfill the mission of making disciples! Give to the missions fund so that the church can provide resources to missionaries around the world. For example, our church supports missionaries for $40.00 per month, maybe this could be your starting goal, to give enough so that the church could support one missionary! I wonder what people in other countries who are barely able to eat think about us, who constantly complain about not having enough.
- Be creative in sharing the Gospel. There are plenty of ways you can use your gifts to impact others. You could make meals for someone in need, or bake cookies to show love to someone who is hurting. Also, if you are a planner, you could volunteer to help plan a special event at church that could encourage people to visit. (like a 9/11 memorial service). You could even ask the pastor what ministries the church has that you could be involved in as a couple!
2. To Face God with No Regrets
It is like we live never thinking of what will happen when we see Him. That first meeting face to face with Him that is promised in Scripture, will put everything in life in a different perspective. After seeing God, Job said, I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42: 5-6). In the Revelation of John, after seeing the Lord, he fell on his face like a dead man (Revelation 1: 17). When we really see Him, we will see how unworthy we really are of His Mercy and Grace. Also, what we have done in life and its meaningfulness to Him will come into view.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons.Colosians 3: 23-25
Live Like You Are Looking Back from that Moment
Live the way that you will have wished you would have when you see Him. Everyone will someday have to face Him alone. What will you have to show for the life that He has given you now? What a shame if we have to stand before Him having not helped make any disciples for Him. He gave me one mission, how could I put so little effort into completing it.
There is a story in the Bible that illustrates our future meeting with Jesus almost perfectly. It is called the Parable of the Talents (Mattew 25: 14-30). In it a man travels to a far country, leaving his three servants with money, one with five talents, one with two talents, and one with one talent. Upon his return, the servant with five talents had invested and gained five more, the servant with two talents had invested and gained two more, but the servant with one talent had buried it and gained nothing. In rebuke, the lord called him wicked and slothful, then took his one talent and gave it the servant with ten!
Will you stand before Jesus having done nothing to advance His Church? Will you stand before Him with nothing to show for all that He has given you? After He burns up all the things that don’t really matter (wood, hay, and stubble), what will you have left for him? (I Corinthians 3: 12-16)
This is the problem, that our focus in not on eternity. It is like you live your life like there is nothing after it. A thousand years from now, how big your house was, the car you drove, or the things that you had, will not matter. However, the faces of those who you had an impact in becoming His disciples will.
Help Your Spouse Be Ready for That Moment
If your spouse does not know Jesus, you can use your life in Jesus to show them the way. (see I Corinthians 7: 12-16) You can also help your saved spouse be prepared for when they see Jesus. I want my wife to be ready for that moment when she sees Jesus face to face also.
You can accomplish this by using the partnership of marriage to make disciples for Him. By doing things for Christ together, or supporting your spouse as they use their gifts for Him, you help them have something to show in that day. When your husband wants to go on visitation, encourage him to do so. If your wife has the gift of singing, do everything you can to encourage her to use it.
When God created marriage, He made a powerful partnership that is not rivaled by anything except for the partnership of Christ and the Church. It is within the marriage covenant that two can do as one, what they could have never done alone.
Constantly Evaluate What You are Doing for God
To some, the Bible is a way to condemn everyone else. It is like they see in the Bible the wrong that everyone else is doing. The truth about the Bible is what makes me love it so much, that it shows ME what I am doing wrong. It is like a constant reminder of how much I need to change to reach my goal of being like Jesus. This is after all, the definition of a christian (little versions of Christ). (see Acts 11: 26)
It is like going for an annual checkup to see how you are doing physically. Except this is a spiritual checkup that you have to give yourself every morning. The following are some checkup questions you can ask yourself each morning:
- Do I have any unconfessed sins of actions or neglect?
- Who in my life, can I help lead to Christ?
- What can I do today that will really matter in eternity?
- How can I help my spouse serve God today?
3. To Act Like You are Not
As much as marriage is such an amazing creation of God to accomplish His will in this world, it can become a distraction to the mission. The Bible makes this point in the book of I Corinthians.
But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is a difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.I Corinthians 7: 32-35
Being Happy Is Not the Goal of the Christian Marriage
Although I am a happily married man, it is possible that I could become so distracted in marriage that I lose sight of the real mission. Pleasing each other is great, but we are called to a higher calling in the Gospel, that it is to do all we can to make disciples for Him.
I think that our adversary the devil, uses marriage as a way to distract us from our mission. If he can get your marriage messed up through discontentment or adultery he wins a great victory for darkness, sin, and hell. Now you have to leave the front lines of the battle to fight each other.
Also, focusing too much on your marriage instead of your real mission can take you out of the battle. Neglecting the real mission for something else, will leave you with regret in eternity. When you stand before Jesus alone, what will matter, is what you have done to make more disciples, not how great your marriage was!
Working Together for Christ Will Solve Many of the Problems in Your Marriage
Working together for the Lord, puts things in a different perspective. You will find that serving God together solves a lot of the problems in your marriage. This is because when you are both focused on the mission instead of your problems, those problems become less consequential.
The things in my marriage that are not pleasing ME right now, are not as critical as the mission that God has given to us to make disciples for Him. It is like holding hands and doing His will, draws you closer to God and each other at the same time.
What is the purpose of marriage?
- To share in the mission of the Gospel
- To face God with no regrets
- To act like you are not