Hi, everyone! It’s almost the weekend! Today, for our 1 Corinthians 7 devotional, I have a few special guests for you all: my parents! I didn’t really feel qualified to tell you all about marriage :), so I decided to post a brief question and answer session with my mom and dad. Enjoy!
Read 1 Corinthians 7, and join me afterward for a Q+A session with my mom and dad on marriage!
1. What makes a good marriage?
Dad + Mom: Marriage involves two very different individuals coming together to “be one,” for a lifetime. To make this work, both individuals must be able to transcend their differences. Even the most well-meaning couples who have similar interests, a mutual attraction for each other, and financial resources face challenges in life. These initial conditions are necessary but not sufficient for marital success.
Marriage must be built on a power that transcends the bumps of life and calls couples to a mutual goal of becoming more Christ-like. This means that both individuals must submit themselves to Jesus and commit to pursuing Jesus together. This enables them to take their eyes off of each other and focus on the author and perfector of their Faith.
2. Why is 1 Cor. 7:19 – “keeping God’s commands is what counts” – so important in marriage?
Marital relationships today often deal in extremes. Spouses are either extreme takers or extreme givers. Both conditions ultimately lead to dissatisfaction if Christ is not the center of the relationship. Only Jesus’ filling is sufficient to enable a human to actually “give” to someone else without being ‘drained.’ Likewise, those that enter marriage to ‘take’ from someone else end up being disillusioned when they discover that their spouse has imperfections. You must have Jesus as the primary focus so that you are not a ‘taker’ in marriage.
3. What does submission practically look like in the marriage relationship?
Individuals must understand submission through the lens of a sovereign, all-powerful, omnipotent God and not in terms of physical conditions such as boss-subordinate, husband-wife, master-slave relationships. Submission in a marital relationship is really all about both the husband and the wife and their submission to Jesus.
This sets up a phenomenal condition whereby both spouses are covered under the headship of Jesus and His sovereignty. Thus, both the husband and wife are now truly free to submit to all manner of governing authorities since their relationship with Jesus reminds them that He is ultimately in control (although temporary circumstances may not appear as such).
Given these truths, the Christian wife who is engaged in a marital relationship with another Christian man can be assured the God who was sovereign over the events of great men of the Bible such as Daniel, Joseph, and Moses is also sovereign over the events of her marriage as she willfully submits to her husband and prays for God’s wisdom and protection over their family.
4. What piece of advice has helped you view marriage from a Christian perspective?
Some favorite phrases that have helped our marriage are, “the marriage should be similar to the relationship between Christ and Church”, “the husband is to love his wife as himself”, and “Christ died for the church, thus the husband is to die-to-self in the marital relationship”.
God ordained and created the institution of marriage, it was not invented by the rule of law or any other legal system. Marriage came first…then came support of the legal system.
Additionally, Gary Thomas’ book “the sacred marriage” has an impactful byline that stated: “What if God intended marriage to make you more like Jesus, rather than to make you happy?” This statement has often come to our minds and has helped us when faced with marital circumstances that do not necessarily make us happy. We are reminded that our time here on earth is more about knowing Jesus and making Him known than building a significant “happiness account” in our lives.
Thanks, mom and dad for those thoughts! I’d like to close with an illustration that both of them mentioned in our discussion.
I’m sure many of you have seen this before, but I wanted to include it because it really is accurate. As the husband and wife grow closer to God and move up the “triangle”, they also grow closer to each other. As my mom, dad, and I talked about it, we realized that this is probably the most important part of any Christian marriage. For a marriage to be “good”, it must be focused on God – not each other.
That’s it for now – I hope you guys enjoyed this post! Have an awesome weekend, and I’ll see you tomorrow!