When I first got married, I had a lot of preconceived notions about what marriage was supposed to be like (despite all that we learned in our premarital counseling). Some of the ideas I had were actually true, but not fully fleshed out (like what it means for me to be the “head of the household”). Others were complete and utter nonsense (like “my wife should want to be intimate whenever I feel like”).
Now we all bring into our marriages a ton of baggage, but where our baggage gets dangerous is when it’s founded on the lies that our culture and sinful natures tell us. Over the next couple days, I want to look at three big ones I’ve noticed a tendency to fall prey to. Here’s the first:
Lie #1: Marriage is about my happiness
We live in a “me” centered culture—everything’s about what I want, what I need. My priorities always come first, everyone else’s are always secondary. So when problems come into our marriages, what do we do? We look for a way out. Why?
Because we’re not happy. Now, happiness is not a bad thing—in fact, it’s a very good thing. We should want to be in our marriages. But happiness is a byproduct of a good, Christ-centered marriage. It’s not the point.
The point of marriage is to bear witness to the gospel (whether we realize it or not). Ephesians 5 explains that the “mystery” of marriage—why we do it, why it makes sense, how it works—is that it’s a picture of the gospel. Just as Christ humbled himself and submitted himself to death on a cross for his bride, the Church, husbands are to humble themselves and set aside their rights in order to serve their wives—to see them flourish and grow into the image of Christ. [Read more...]