Monday, February 1, 2010

Becoming One

When you got married, did you plan for a wedding or for a marriage? Did you plan for one day or for a lifetime? Did you place much of your focus on preparing your relationship for life's storms or picking out the perfect cake? Sadly, too many couples are marrying for the wrong reasons and focusing their energies and efforts on activities that don't build their marriage.

Reality shows like Whose Wedding Is It? and Say Yes to the Dress demonstrate the modern-day couples' obssession with selecting the right dress and reception location rather than choosing - with God's direction - a mature mate who will love them through life's ups and downs.

Marriage is the becoming of one flesh (Genesis 2:24) and it is a process the Bible says begins with each person forsaking their natural ties with their parents and "cleaving" or dedicating themselves to bonding with one another. Becoming one flesh involves a spouse giving up his (or her) selfish interests for the interest of the other. That process does not occur on the wedding day. Truthfully, even a "married" couple retains the "single" mindset for many years after the wedding date.

Reflecting back on the early years of my marriage, I remember it taking a few years for me to call the items I had purchased prior to the marriage "ours." Talk about having a single mindset!

When Jim and I counsel engaged couples or singles, we advise them to choose their mate wisely. We encourage them to ask the Lord to show them the person who will be willing to let go of their singleness and and work on becoming one and building a marriage that will last.

It literally takes a lifetime of both the husband and the wife giving selflessly of themselves to the other whether they are deserving or not.

God wants us to focus beyond the wedding day. He tells us to focus on the eternal rather than the temporary. Some things for newly-married, engaged and "lifers" to focus on comes in Ephesians 5:22-30:
  • Wives should submit lovingly to their husbands leadership and authority because Christ has given him the responsibility for leadership in the family and the husband is accountable to Christ; (vs. 22-24)
  • Husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church to the point that he is willing to give up his life that his wife might live; (vs. 25)
  • Husbands should look for opportunities to see his wife grow in her faith and walk with God that God will be pleased; (vs. 26-27)
  • Husbands should love their wives as much as they love themselves - and football, their car, etc. (vs. 28)

It's Marriage Mondays ...

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