I reached back recently to one of Chip Ingram’s POD cast from Living on the Edge Ministries, dated mid-December on the topic of Marriage for my morning devotion. During the sermon, I couldn’t help but think of how everyone, married or single, has expectations of what marriage is and some are currently living in disappointment or will be, based on their current expectations.
His sermon touches on how painful marriages are that do not work and some of these marriages result in divorce while others settle for co-existing in the same house. He continues to open with reasons why marriages don’t work and explains that these reasons are actually symptoms of the real issue. The real issue being, “They have no idea what marriage is supposed to be.”
Do you know what marriage is supposed to be?
Chip explains it this way: God created marriage for oneness and to reflect His image.
Do your expectations align with the purpose of marriage?
Chip’s message is based on Gen 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” and explains the role God plays in marriage, along with the roles of the husband and the wife. (no, he doesn’t discuss who is going to do the housework, yardwork or change the oil in the car)
He then moves on to the results of marriage in Gen 2:25 “and they were both naked, the man and his wife, and they were not ashamed.” I think this may be shocking to some but he moves on to explain naked really means intimacy and how important it is to have it in your marriage.
Chip explains that intimacy is oneness: connectedness, being loved and being accepted as you are. He explains the term naked is in the sense of emotionally, psychologically, and physically and gives examples of what this oneness looks like in marriage in a spiritual, psychological sense and being best friends.
Can you and your spouse be totally naked, spiritually, emotionally and mentally in front of each other? Are you capable of being totally honest and hide absolutely nothing from your spouse? Can you handle your spouse being totally honest and hiding nothing from you?
These triangles are discussed and explained in detail but you can see that it takes all 3 to have a marriage with the intended purpose. The more we both seek the Lord, the closer we get to each other. And the more we seek selfishness, the farther we are from ourselves and from God.
During the sermon I kept thinking that this is great information for some marriages but this seriously needs to be in front of every single Christian. Singles have expectations of marriage in their minds and have it long before they date. Before committing to a marriage, it is extremely important and often gets overlooked but firmly knowing your own and being able to explain your own expectations is a must along with asking and understanding the other persons expectations of marriage is a must! Otherwise, a struggling marriage or worse, divorce and co-existing is usually the outcome. Where is the unity of marriage if both individuals are living each day with a different purpose?
This concept begins with dating. You should be able to explain your expectations of a dating relationship and so should the one you are dating. What is your purpose of dating? What do you expect to gain from dating?
Chip Ingram has a part 2 to his series and goes into further detail about: being best friends, soul mates and being connected. He also discusses where family and friends fit into marriage.