Week 1 – Marriage IS Great…Isn’t It?
You and Me Forever
Chapter 1: Marriage Isn’t That Great
As you might know, the introduction in this book is titled Happily Ever After, and in sharp contrast, chapter 1 is titled Marriage Isn’t That Great. I don’t know about you, but when I open up a marriage book, I certainly didn’t expect to begin by reading about all the ways that marriage isn’t that great. In fact, the first time my husband and I sat down to read this book, I didn’t even get past that first line before wondering if this was really a book that I wanted to read. My initial thought was “But marriage IS great! … Isn’t it?”
If you’re like me and you thought this book – and this study – was going to be all about making your marriage great, let me reassure you that if you truly take to heart the messages here that will be a result as well. Just one look at Francis and Lisa Chan interacting with each other will tell you that they’ve got a wonderful marriage – and it’s a result of all the wisdom they’re going to share with us in this book!
If you’re still hoping for directions that will lead you to the fairy-tale land of happily ever after, hold on tight because here comes a hard truth – we’re focusing on the WRONG happily ever after! Our happy ending can’t be found in this life, because this life is NOT THE END.
We can’t waste all of our time focusing on an earthly relationship that Jesus tells us won’t be the same after this life:
“In the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.”
– Matthew 22:30
This is a message that I’ve truly struggled to internalize – and maybe you have too – but as I’ve dwelled on this and let it sink in bit by bit, here’s what I’ve found:
Marriage is a beautiful gift from God, and of course it is a relationship that should be nourished and treasured, but it was never meant to take a higher priority than our relationship with our Creator. It may seem unfair to your spouse to put someone else so far above him on your list of priorities, but we simply can’t look at it from that angle. Many years ago, a dear friend explained this to me and it’s always stuck in the forefront of my mind. I’ve shared this before, but it sums up this chapter so well that I want to share it again:
If you and your spouse are both faithfully working towards a stronger relationship with God, a better marriage will also be a result!
Many Christian wedding ceremonies include the passage from Ecclesiastes that tells us “a chord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Why, then do we spend so much effort focusing on just two of those strands – husband and wife – but neglect the third – our relationship with God?
Take some time today to pray about this – and include your spouse if you’d like! Are you putting God in His proper place in your heart? Or has your pursuit of a great marriage eclipsed your relationship with the Father?
Kristin is a wife and mother of two fur babies, who lives in Princeton, WV. She has a passion for Jesus and reading, which she put together to found the Biblical Wives Book Club. She seeks to encourage other young wives to maintain strong, Christ-centered marriages through a community of women who support each other as women of God.