Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why the World is Wrong About Marriage

Great piece from the Resurgence by Jen Smidt:

Flipping through a popular women’s magazine recently, I came across an article on marriage.
Since I am married and regularly teach on marriage, I was interested in what advice today’s culture would bestow upon me. I was not surprised and more than a little disturbed. While I did not expect that biblically sound wisdom would flow from the glossy pages, I did hope for something more than a completely self-absorbed, wicked plan for marital bliss.

"Good Advice"

I found myself immediately refuting each point with truth from Scripture–realizing that God, much more so than culture, has graciously shaped and redeemed my understanding of his purpose for marriage. The article claimed that couples stay in love by taking chances. The 3 suggested risks were:
  1. Call a time-out. Apparently, the happiest couples spend much of their time apart. 
  2. Have another man in your life. The article claimed that friendships with men allow you to “experience that rush of newness.”
  3. Satisfy yourself. Enough said.
Good advice is just that…a suggestion that may or may not work. In the case of this advice, I’d call it downright dangerous. Spending large chunks of time away from your husband, flirting with other men, and seeking selfish pleasures are invitations to disaster.
God calls us to a vision and purpose for marriage that is radically different than how the world views this union.

Good News

Let me call you to something different than what this magazine offers: Good News. Here's the revised version of the above list grounded in the good news of the gospel:
  1. Call a time-out with God. "I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me" (Proverbs 8:17). As both a daily habit and in the midst of conflict, the happiest couples have regular time with God. They pray, seek, study and listen for the wisdom that comes from above. They look for ways to build oneness, not distance.
  2. Have another man in your life…his name is Jesus. "The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant" (Psalm 25:14). Friendship with Jesus is the only possibility for a life reconciled to God and a marriage that reflects his covenant made with us: I will never leave you or forsake you.
  3. Deny yourself. Over and over and over. Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). The greatest threat to your marriage is you. Seeking to satisfy yourself first is a surefire marital destruction plan. Dying to self is rooted in living in Christ. He alone makes self-sacrifice possible and pleasurable in marriage.
God calls us to a vision and purpose for marriage that is radically different than how the world views this union. May we be married couples that reject the world’s shallow and selfish advice for marriage and embrace God’s glorious call to selfless, Jesus-filled marriages.


Jesus-in-the-city said...

Right on, right on!

It is so sad to see the way that marriage is portrayed in the world today and the so-called advice that the experts have to give.

As a woman who is newly saved AND newly married, I have all too much experience with how the messages of the world rear self centered individuals. A pastor I watched recently said it best when he noticed that the world these days gears marriages toward divorce more so than life long unions sanctified by a Holy God. Most couples have way more experience with emotional love, shacking up, emotional lows and taking your toothbrush and moving on to the next "soul mate," than with valuing purity by saving themselves for one partner to have and to hold FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE, RICHER OR POORER IN SICKNESS AND HEALTH TIL DEATH parts them. Heck, even Jerry Fallwell espouses that it's ok to divorce a spouse who has alzeihmers. I must have missed that part of the sermon on the mount...

Sadly, Christian marriages are really no better, sine they have atleast the same divorce rate as worldly marriages do. It's no secret that directly after Paul's most popular writings on marriage and the household in Ephesians comes a warning and direction regarding spiritual armor. If he can, satan would be perfectly happy to gut all Christian marriages like fish (that's terminology I heard in another sermon and not my own analogy either). Christians need to realize that one of the best things we can do to be the salt and light of the world and pick up our crosses to follow Jesus, is to use our marriages as a perfect opportunity to practice dying to ourselves daily and submitting ourselves to the divine order God teaches us for our households.

I haven't perfected this yet but I strive for it everyday and pray to accomplish it. When I realized God was showing me that I had the blessed opportuniy to know the heart of Jesus by taking my rightful place submitting to my husband as He submitted to His Father, not because He was less than, but because of His obedience out of love and the promised joy that laid ahead of Him, just like the joy that awaits all of us who are in Him, it was like a wake up call to my heart! (sorry for the major run on sentence, but you catch my drift! :)

I pray that all Christian marriages will be driven by the yearning of His Holy Spirit to seek first the Kingdom of God because He doesn't lie when He says that everything else will be added unto us. Just trust Him! His yolk is easy to bear and His burden is light. I am a living testimony to that! Thanks for speaking out about this, Alisha! It's SO important!!!

Anonymous said...

Very clever second list, Alisha! Great post. Your husband is so blessed.

Alisha De Freitas said...

@Aja and WK, yes I enjoyed this article too, which is why I reposted it from the Resurgence ( the link and author's name are given at the top of this post). So I cannot take credit for anything more than copying, pasting and linking to this awesome young Christian wife and writer.

Jesus-in-the-city said...

Haha... I noticed that last night after I'd posted, but my fingers were too tired from such a long response to comment again :)

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