What do you want from your marriage? What would you change if you could?
No doubt something, or many things, come to mind. In one way or another marriage has probably fallen short of your expectations. But we must consider: where does our definition of “the ideal marriage” come from?
Do we get our cues from the culture and its illusive ideal of a mutually satisfying relationship? Do we compare our marriage to our friends’ marriages, to our everlasting disappointment? Or are we myopically focused on our husband’s weaknesses as the cause of our less than ideal marriage?
We need to ask: What does God want from my marriage? What does He want to change? What is His ideal?
Would it surprise you to know that His goal is not for you and your husband to have a “mutually satisfying relationship”, or to have a marriage that’s as good as or better than your friends, or to finally change that husband of yours?
His goal is far greater than that. His agenda far more glorious, far more satisfying.
What does God’s ideal marriage look like?
The answer begins with a story. A long story. A beautiful story. The story of marriage in the Bible.
As a newlywed, Darlene Deibler Rose served as a missionary in New Guinea with her husband from 1938 to 1942. Then, for four years, she was imprisoned by the Japanese during World War II and endured almost unspeakable hardships, including solitary confinement, near starvation, beatings and loss of her husband, Russell Deibler. Yet in her book, Evidence Not Seen, she wrote:
“Viewing those eight years from this far side, I marvel at the wisdom and love of our God, Who controls the curtains of the stage on which the drama of our lives is played; His hand draws aside the curtains of events only far enough for us to view one sequence at a time. Had those eight years been revealed to me in one panoramic view that misty gray January morning in 1938, would I have had the courage to board the ship? I wonder. Through the intervening years, tempestuous winds of gale force have buffeted me. Waves of tidal proportions have threatened to carry me under or dash me upon the rocks. But knowing now what I did not know those many years ago… I can thank my God for every storm that has wrecked me upon the Rock, Christ Jesus!” (pp.221-222)
May we thank Him too.