February 08, 2021
It’s the month of February, a time when hearts are celebrated all over the world. Maybe you are still confused with the idea of what love is or maybe you’re at a loss about this thing called “marriage.” You may be disillusioned and disappointed.
You are not alone.
Sadly, marriage was not modeled well in many homes.
Maybe you’ve come from a broken home or a dysfunctional family and are still bombarded with the painful memories of your parents’ seemingly pointless fights. Bad memories and deep frustrations have negatively affected your view of marriage. You’ve been crying out, and no one seems to hear. Your heart is broken. You are wounded. The pain is very evident. You say to yourself, “Marriage is impossible and is a hopeless cause.”
God knows exactly the status of your heart. He is your help.
Isn’t it interesting that the story of creation in Genesis culminated in marriage? In God’s perspective, marriage is the fulfillment of His covenant to bless, to increase, and to express the beauty of a union between a man and a woman. God Himself and His presence was more than enough for them.
The good news is that redemption is still God’s biggest plan. He sent His one and only Son not just to redeem but also to restore every part of our broken lives, including marriage and our understanding of it.
Ray and I heard the gospel in our teens. And just like many of you, we came from a place of brokenness in our homes.
In His goodness, God did not just restore our relationship with Him. Part of His redemptive plan is to place us in a spiritual family. He sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). As students and young believers, we’ve witnessed imperfect lives being brought together by God in marriage. We started to dream again when we saw that despite their own brokenness, two people are still able to intentionally build a better home—all by God’s grace. We became expectant that one day, we could also have a marriage that will honor God.
It was through the church community that our vision of marriage was redefined.
How do we redefine marriage? These tips are not meant to be a checklist of what to do, but they could act as signposts in your faith journey, whether it involves marrying someone or not.
Oh yes, romance is sweet. But emotions can fade. What will strengthen a marriage is still the love of Christ. He is the perfect example of how it is to be loved and to love. He primarily received love from God the Father, and that became His motivation in everything that He did. He loved us first and He loved us even at our worst. God deserves to be first in our hearts even in marriage. And this relationship changes us from inside out to become a better man or woman, a better husband or wife, with Christ’s heart and character.
It is in pursuit of His presence where marriage thrives. Behind the scenes of this marriage is prioritizing a lifestyle of worship, of finding meaning and wisdom in His word, and applying faith through prayer and obedience. This marriage invites the Holy Spirit to take center stage as we bear His fruit. It is only this kind of love that exemplifies true love—laying one’s life for another.
“When I have learned to love God better than my earthly dearest, I shall love my earthly dearest better than I do now.”
A redeemed marriage is not just about compatibility, pursuing selfish gain, or pleasing a crowd. In its sacredness is the very heart of God, a missional calling that lives for others and for His purpose. It entails obedience and sacrifice. His kingdom will always come first.
A redeemed marriage invests in the treasures of God, His priorities, and values. The love of a husband and wife for each other is the gospel preached to one’s children and the world.
In a redeemed marriage, a husband and wife can dream together, believe for the impossible together, and laugh and cry through life’s twists and turns together. Indeed, friendship is grace in marriage.
That is why, as a student and while you are still single, treasure your friendships and your key relationships. It is in this season that you will develop relational skills that will bless your future spouse and children.
When we experience God’s generosity and cling to His promise of an abundant life in Him, we are able to celebrate His goodness and lovingkindness in the highs and lows of life. Marriage flourishes in the knowledge that victory began with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, declared on the wedding day, and proclaimed through a lifetime of commitment. Every year of marriage is a gift.
Our prayer for you is that you will know the depth, the height, and the width of God’s love. We pray that you will grow more in love with Christ. He will wipe away your tears, give you a new heart, heal your pain, make you whole, and renew your vision of marriage. And in your journey of waiting, the love of God, our Father, will secure you.
Today, may you believe that according to His will, He can bless you in His beautiful time with a marriage that will honor Him. Your heart and future marriage matters to God. That’s how much He loves you.
But if God’s plan for your life on earth does not include marriage, take heart, for an even greater union will take place between Christ and the Church that will overshadow any marriage.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:7
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up His life for her.
Ephesians 5:25 (NLT)