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How to Prepare for the Marriage God’s Way

The Original Article “Enjoying the Many Seasons of Marriage,”  has moved! You can find it here!

If you’re anything like me, you take marriage seriously. You see if for what it is; for what God intended it to be, and you want so badly to align with His intent. 

What’s interesting to me is that as bad as some of us want our marriages to succeed pinpointing what that looks like in light of the gospel is something we struggle with. Would you agree? 
 
How to do marriage God's way. 3 Tips help you carry out the mission of marriage. http://www.lotanner.com/marriage @mrslotanner #lacedwithpurpose
 
The world says a successful marriage is a happy marriage or a successful marriage is one that lasts. Want to know a secret? God measures the success of marriage through very different means than the world does. It was that understanding that helped me realize I need to prepare for marriage and the various seasons differently than the world does. 
 

Have you ever thought about marriage from an eternal standpoint?

So much of how we view marriage is limited to right now; what we see, feel, and experience on this Earth. What if I told you marriage is supposed to be more, that it’s supposed to have an eternal impact? Mind blown? That was my initial response too while taking in the words of Francis Chan in his book You and Me Forever. I used to think marriage was about two people; me and the man I married. After reading You and Me Forever I realized marriage isn’t just about me and mine. It’s about us and the world. It’s about using the love we cultivate behind closed doors to point people to the love of God. 
 
Fun? I hope so. 
 
Happy? I pray so. 
 
But is the end goal of marriage happiness and pleasure? No. 
 
You are a vessel and you’re marriage is a tool. Both have been created for the same purpose; to point people to Jesus and the gospel. 
 
 

 

Marriage Meets the Gospel

What is the gospel? In short: it’s our very reason for hope in the midst of all the chaos this world has to offer. It is the life breathed into every follower of Christ and the greatest love and gift we will ever receive.

Why do we have a need for it? Our sin. When sin entered the world it created a gap between us and God; one that we couldn’t bridge. So God in His love bridged it for us by sending HIs Son to take the punishment of our sin; making us blameless in God’s eyes. 

John 15:13 reads, 

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” 

Jesus did it physically. And in marriage, we are called to do the same only relationally. Paul explained it like this (See Ephesians 5:22-28 for verbatim scripture).

HUSBANDS:  Love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her

WIVES: Submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body.

Do you know what BOTH of these scriptures require of us? Sacrifice; the giving up of our own wants and desires for the benefit of the one we love. And service; showing honor and respect for a person by being a source of help and provision. 

***This is typically the part of the conversation where wives have BIG questions. Submission? Really? Before you work yourself up, check out these articles. They may answer your question and bring you a sense of peace. God isn’t calling you to be a doormat for His glory. Learn where the boundaries lay and what the church often fails to mention about submission.***

How the Bible Completely SHATTERS The Worlds View of Submission

When You Have to Choose Between Submitting to Your Husband and Honoring God

God wants people to look at our marriages and get a glimpse of the love He has for us. We are after all people created to bear His images? Doesn’t it make sense that we also be charged to love as He loves? And to give love as He gives love? 

1 John 4:9 “We love Him, because he first loved us.” 

Marriage is a gospel tool we are entrusted with for the purpose of sharing God’s love with others. We nurture it in private but put it’s love to work in public. Your marriage is ministry

How to Prepare for the Seasons of Marriage Ministry

So how do you best prepare your heart for seasons of marriage ministry that you’re about to head into? Especially when you really didn’t know you were walking into ministry?

Pray.

Start saturating your marriage in prayer. I’ve seen prayer do powerful things for marriage; mine included.

Learn to view marriage for a biblical gospel-centered standpoint.

Francis Chan’s book You and Me Forever is the perfect place to start. He’ll help point you to biblical principles that will bring this concept to life for you. But more importantly than Francis’s book is God’s book. Get into the Bible! 

Popular Bible passages related to marriage, marriage conduct, and wifehood: 

Ephesians chapter 5 

! Chorinthians chapter 13 

Proverbs (all of it). 

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

You can pretty much read any of Paul’s letters and apply the scriptures that speak to Christ-like character to your marriage (and other relationships as well). Study topics like patience, humility, grace, leadership, godly wisdom, and of course love. 

Connect

Find other Jesus-loving married couples to learn and grow with.

And look for other married couples or you people with a heart for marriage that you can sow into. Be open to being an example for them because whether you like it or not, you are.

 

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