It seems that much of our so called Christian-based material seems to fall short of understanding the purpose of marriage. The chief end to marriage is not our own happiness, but God’s glory.
The Why Behind the What
During our marriage conferences, I have found it vital to begin by talking about the why behind the what. I choose this as an opening topic because it is the why that determines how you do the what. That is, it is the why that dictates your level of commitment and intensity toward the what.
That being said, why is it so important to deal with the subject of marriage? From God’s perspective, what is the purpose of marriage? First and foremost, God’s glory is at sake.
Typically, when we think of having a marriage conference or seminar, we envision people packing into a room or an auditorium and learning how to have happier marriages. The only problem is that there is much more at stake than our own happiness.
Two Very Different Looking Pieces
I often say that husbands and wives are two very different looking pieces of the same two piece puzzle. When they fit together in love and unity, they make a beautiful picture of the glory of God and especially Christ’s love for the church. When those two pieces fail to come together, the picture that others should be seeing is tragically obscured.
If you claim to be a Christ-follower, others are watching you, especially your children. If you do not have the hot and harmonious relationship with your spouse that God would have you to enjoy, onlookers are either consciously or subconsciously asking themselves, “Is that all that God can do in a Christian home?”.
Doesn’t God Want Me to be Happy
Upon broaching this subject, some are prone to ask, “Doesn’t God want me to be happy?”. Though I am inclined to answer in the positive, I would be amiss if I fail to point out the following:
Those in life that make it their primary goal to be happy seldom ever reach that goal. Those that find true and long lasting happiness make it their main objective to make God happy.
This was the essence of Christ’s teachings in Matthew 16:25. In Matthew’s gospel, Christ taught:
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:25)
Adrian Rogers said it like this:
“Happiness is something you stumble over on your way to serving Jesus. When you are serving the Lord Jesus Christ, happiness is the by-product of righteousness.”