Introduction to The Meaning of Marriage Series
The overall concept of the series is to encourage and help marriages flourish into all that marriage has been originally designed for. Tim Keller addresses in his book, The Meaning of Marriage, the original design and intent for marriage. His writings are based around the book of Ephesians, chapter five, in God’s Word. He explains in great depth stories of truth that will shift our perspective on marriage and on love.
Here is the outline of how we will be going through the next several months. Each month there will be two blog posts, which will cover one chapter of the book. I will highlight 2-3 main ideas per post. The ideas will lead to steps of application for married and engaged couples to use in your own story of marriage. Your personal story is an invaluable one, which has already been perfectly and purposely written. If you can walk away from this series with the courage and strength to take heart in where you are at in your marriage (or engagement), then the purpose of this series has been fulfilled. So with reckless abandonment and excitement, let’s jump and dive in to start our first chapter.
The Secret of Marriage
31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[a] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:31-32
- Marriage is Instituted by God – Over the years, marriage has sadly gotten a “bad name” for itself. How?
- The view of our parent’s marriage. This experience has left us with feelings of good or bad. Those associations can create unrealistic expectations for us as to how we will perceive marriage. We can make decisions and ideas based off of our own past circumstances, effecting the wellness and health of our future selves.
- The world’s view of marriage. This view has grown more and more into the “me” marriage. People desire the “ideal” person. The tendency is to not get into a serious relationship until they meet the person who can fit their own needs. “Someone who is going to help me achieve how I want to achieve.” A lot of times marriage can even seen as a “terminal sexual contract.” A mutual and individual self-fulfillment relationship.
These two views actually create heavy and burdensome expectations on a future spouse to have to meet every day. That’s demanding for a person to carry, which long term will tire anyone out!
The fairytale marriages are what I believed in before I got married. I believed in a “once upon a time,” and a “happily ever after,” kind of marriage. When Jordan and I got married, it was challenging for me because I had my own set of unknown expectations that were not accurate, and were created from trying to escape reality at a young age. After identifying the expectations and accepting that marriage is actually beautifully complex, there was so much more depth of love and appreciation for our marriage. But I had to understand marriage more; I had to understand where my idea of marriage came from and replace it with the truth about where marriage actually comes from. I realized how my thinking needed to change, which soon resulted into changed action within our marriage.
We need to shift the view from our parent’s marriage, a self-gain, and self-fulfillment view, to believing the truth about marriage:
- God’s view of marriage is to reflect the relationship between Jesus and His people. An unbreakable covenant of unconditional love and acceptance. The most intimate relationship there is. To give love first, because we are already greatly loved by Him.
2. Surprising Goodness of Marriage – There are pretty staggering statistics to show that what we might believe in our minds about marriage might not be true all the time. Some perceptions of people in marriage are that:
- They are unhappy
- Drained financially
Well here is a list of surprisingly good stats about marriage quoted by Tim Keller.
- 61-62% of married people say they are really happy.
- 2/3 of unhappy marriages, will become happy within 5 years if stayed together/married and do not divorce.
- Married couples show higher satisfaction with life.
- Being married and growing up with parents who are married, are huge benefits for our health and well-being.
- 75% of married men, have more wealth at retirement
- Married men make 10-40 times more money.
While there is a stat that says, 50% of married couples are divorced, that percentage has increased over the years, as the “me” marriage perspective I mentioned above has become more and more popular. These stats bring such hope and light to a topic that can easily seen as either really hard, or a fairy tale come true. With these truths, marriage is no doubt tough and hard, but is the healthiest and most important relationship for our wellbeing and our children’s wellbeing. So take heart that whatever you’re going through, there is a great purpose in what is happening, and that your marriage will be honored.
- Married and Engaged Couples: As I was writing this post, my heart was already encouraged for my own marriage. At times of every-day life, I can forget, or not even think on the purpose of marriage. To apply this idea, let’s keep it simple and thank God for His truth of how He designed our marriages intently. That He knew exactly what he was doing when he put you and your spouse together. We have all the love and all the forgiveness and all of the grace to get through what we are in right now…to continue to give love, forgiveness, and grace. Let’s just rejoice in all that we have and get to receive because of God’s choice to marry us to Himself, forever!
Author of the Marriage Series: Taylor Wild
Note: We do not hold degrees in psychology, nor are we doctors, but people who have a heart to share wisdom.
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[1st & 3rd Photo]
Venue Royal Palms
Floral Design LUX Wedding Florist
Photographer: April Maura Photography
Second Shot with Rachel Solomon Photography
Wedding Coordinator- Devin with Villa Siena
Venue: Villa Siena
Photographer: April Maura Photography
Second Shot with Monique Hessler Photography