We all enter into marriage thinking we know what marriage is and isn’t. But what we’ve discovered is that we all look at marriage differently. That’s why we are sharing with you what Debi and Tom Walter (from The Romantic Vineyard) share concerning what they’ve discovered. This all lines up with our discoveries. All four of us have learned these things the hard way. Here’s what they share:
In the over 40 years that Tom and I have been married, we’ve learned about what marriage is and what it isn’t. If it were possible, we would love to have you over to our home. We’d put on a pot of coffee or hot tea and sit in our kitchen talking about what we’ve learned all these years. We would love to help you see the big picture of marriage. This would be great in light of what you’re facing today. And we would love to encourage you on all the reasons it’s worth the effort.
But this isn’t possible. So, we’ve decided to do the next best thing. We encourage you to fix your own beverage of choice. Then find a comfortable seat and read what we share with you as to what we’ve learned. This is in the hopes of helping you stay the course for a lifetime.
And now for our list [with a few added scriptures in brackets] …
What Marriage Isn’t:
• It isn’t a place for selfishness to grow. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it,” (Proverbs 3:27)]
• It isn’t two separate people co-habiting.
• Marriage isn’t something to take lightly.
• It isn’t easily disposed of.
• It isn’t permission to treat another in an unbiblical way.
• Marriage isn’t the place where you can share your thoughts without regard for how it will affect your spouse.
• It isn’t a relationship to be shared with another. [“What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mark 10:9)]
• It isn’t an inconvenience when the road becomes difficult.
• Marriage especially is not for quitters. [“Do not become weary in well doing; for you will reap a harvest if you do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)]
• It isn’t about your happiness only.
• It isn’t for the immature.
• And it isn’t for self-gratification.
• It isn’t for trying it out to see if it works.
• It isn’t for the children alone.
What Marriage Is:
• It’s a covenant between one man and one woman to live together. This is for the purpose of procreation and to honor and glorify God.
• Marriage is a mirror of Christ’s love for the church.
• It’s knowing you have a partner to help you navigate every road life sends your way.
• It’s being committed to one person more than anyone else you know.
• The marriage relationship is having one person to show your affection and love.
• It’s being known fully and knowing another completely without shame. [“Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” (1 Peter 3:9)]
• It’s learning to be transparent in all areas. There are no secrets.
• Marriage involves having someone who will pray for you as if their life depended on it.
• It’s a covenant. Marriage is a promise made to God before witnesses that you are in this for the long haul.
• Marriage is a privilege to be named among those who have gone before you. You make your mark as to what marriage looks like to all those coming after you.
• It’s a responsibility to be faithful to every word you said on your wedding day.
• It’s a duty; but it’s one that brings the most delight.
• Marriage is friendship in the truest sense of the word. Having a friend who loves you for who you are, not what you do.
• It’s being sexually active with one person for as long as you both shall live [“The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and like-wise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife. Do not deprive each other except by mutual consent and for a time so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.” (1 Corinthians 7:3-5)]
• It’s enjoying being naked and not ashamed.
• Marriage is believing the best about your spouse, even when they’ve let you down. [“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:7)]
• It’s helping your spouse believe the best about themselves when they’ve forgotten.
• It’s making plans for the future and allowing each other to dream big dreams.
• Marriage is having a family together and raising them in the knowledge and fear of God.
• It’s making the most of the time we’ve been given in life in ways that count for eternity.
• It’s where the miracle happens. Marriage is where two people become one.[“For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.“ (Genesis 2:24)]
And this of course, is your main ministry for the rest of your life together.
We thank God for all that Debi and Tom shared with us. We pray this helps you and your spouse (as it has us) come closer together as you discuss your own definitions of marriage as you see it. But most important of all is what God shows you it is and isn’t.
Cindy and Steve Wright
— ADDITIONALLY —
To help you further, we give a lot of personal stories, humor, and more practical tips in our book, 7 ESSENTIALS to Grow Your Marriage. We hope you will pick up a copy for yourself. (It’s available both electronically and in print form.) Plus, it can make a great gift for someone else. It gives you the opportunity to help them grow their marriage. And who doesn’t need that? Just click on the linked title or the picture below:
If you are not a subscriber to the Marriage Insights (emailed out weekly)
and you would like to receive them directly, click onto the following:
More from Marriage Missions
Filed under: Marriage Insights