Mawwiage is what bwings us togeva today
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
This Sunday is Renae and my first Wedding Anniversary. We are going away for a few days and it should be really fun. It will be our first holiday with just us since or honeymoon. My good friends Adrian and Kelly are also getting married this weekend so marriage is in the air everywhere. I thought that it would be a good chance to write down a few of my thoughts after being married a year. I am by no means wise on this subject but hopefully what I write be helpful for people who have just got married, are thinking about marriage, or are thinking about not getting married.
The first thing that is worth saying is that marriage is not like dating. When you are going out with someone you are not married to them. That seems obvious but still I see so many teenagers trying to replicate a married relationship when they aren't married. Your girlfriend/boyfriend does not have the same claim to your time as if you were married. Your gf/bf does not have the same claim to your life as if you were married. If you break up with someone it will be a hard time but it isn't like a marriage break-up. Something else worth noting is that people who are 'going out' often idolise their gf/bf in a way that married people don't seem to do so much. I think this is because when you are 'going out' with someone... you don't really know them. You only know what they choose to show you. As much as you think that you are soul mates, the truth is that you have hardly seen each other's soul to know.
I found that after I married Renae I saw a lot of things in her that I hadn't seen before. I saw what sins she struggled with, I saw what her relationship with God was like, I saw how she acted when we disagreed, I saw how she acted in times when it was hard to live with me. Now, it's the things I know about Ren now that I love, not the things I thought I knew back then. Thus now we can worship God together as sinful humans who are pushing each other towards Heaven, rather than distracting each other from God because we look so perfect in each other's eyes.
The second thing I've learnt about marriage is that your attitude to ministry is key. Many couples get married and choose to have a year off or to let go of a few ministries so that they can care for one another. Others never stop doing their individual ministries and hardly get time to see each other. My opinion (and practise) is that 1 Cor 7 teaches that a married couple will think less about how to please God and more about how to please their spouse. However, there is a way of continuing to push yourselves in ministry that is God honouring and marriage honouring. That is, do ministry together. Lead youth group together and pray for your Youth group kids together. Have a home group in your house and open your house to having people over. Look out for younger new married couples together. Be a team that doesn't distract but pushes each other on. Many will say that young people shouldn't get married because it stops them doing ministry. I think that that is unfortunately true, but it doesn't need to be. On the same hand it would be unhelpful and unhealthy for a couple to live separate lives because they are engrossed in their own ministries. There may need to be ministry changes but not ministry pauses.
The third thing is... don't get a dog in your first six months of marriage. I learnt that the hard way. All your spare time is looking after the new puppy instead of looking after one another.
And the last thing is have God centred conversation. Read the Bible together, Pray together, share what you are praying for on your own, share your struggles and your doubts. Point each other to God. If you are thinking of not getting married... go for it. You can use your resources and time to better serve God's kingdom. It is a big thing to be married and it does tie you down. On the other hand though, if you are married, use it. Be married in a way that brings God glory.
Posted byDan at 2:29 PM