When I was younger, I imagined marriage to be something perfect, something to truly long for. Marriage would start with a big wedding that included a fancy white dress, happy loved ones, food, and lots of dancing. Then after the wedding, life would just be perfect because I got married to the one I love and we would live happily ever after. I’m sure I’m not the only one who used to have such a fairy-tale fantasy about weddings and marriage. It wasn’t until I got older that I realized marriage is not a fairy-tale and it’s also not just about love. As a matter of fact, just because two people love each other, does not mean they should get married.
If marriage was just about love, we could marry anyone we fall in love with. However, we are told to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14), so that already eliminates all the unbelievers. Is every Christian guy a potential hubby then? No! I used to think that two Christians who loved each other would make a great couple. I was wrong. Two people with different purposes cannot go into one marriage and try to work on a mutual purpose for that marriage. For instance, if one’s purpose is to travel around the world and do missionary work, but the other person’s purpose is to help youth in a particular city to grow in the Lord, how is that going to work out? Yes, you may be madly in love with each other and willing to do everything to make things work, but there’s not much you can do when it’s not practical.
People fall in love and assume that because they like a certain person, they have to spend the rest of their life with this person. Let’s take a minute to think about life. Why are we alive? Why are we on this earth? As Christians, we are on this earth because we have a purpose. What is that purpose? Our purpose is to please God (1 Thessalonians 2:4). If our purpose is to please God, then it means that whatever we do should aid in fulfilling this purpose, even marriage. It is important that before you say “I do“, you consider who and what you are saying “I do” to. Marriage is about building something with your future spouse. Are you willing to build with this person? Do you see yourself helping your spouse achieving his purpose and do you see him helping you achieve yours?
Also, let’s not forget that we are imperfect human beings. Sometimes we love and like, sometimes we hate and dislike. Our feelings fluctuate; one day we’re feeling a certain way, the next day we feel a whole different way. That means that in marriage too, you won’t always like your spouse. Think about it. Is there anyone in your life right now whom you have loved and liked every single day, always? We get annoyed, we get frustrated. One day we may love someone, but the next day that feeling may not be there. Now if your marriage is based solely on love, how will you deal with situations where love is nowhere to be found? Such situations can be detrimental to your relationship. But, if you do have a purpose for your marriage, if you know that you are building something together, you will make sure that whatever happens you keep working towards that purpose. Even on the days you don’t like your spouse.
Love is essential in a marriage, but it is not what keeps a marriage going. Marriage needs to be built on God, He should be the foundation of your marriage. Building on God means building with a purpose. You want to achieve something and you want to do that together. Life is about purpose and so is marriage. The late Dr. Myles Munroe once said “Life without purpose is a great tragedy.” If one life without purpose is a great tragedy, how much more tragedy will marriage – two lives combined – be when there is no purpose?
Love is wonderful. Love is great. But, never forget that there is more to marriage than just love.