Why “Marriage Isn’t For You” Is Wrong

(c) xElectricHigh on DeviantArt

(c) xElectricHigh on DeviantArt

Yesterday, I reposted the viral article, “Marriage Isn’t For You” by Seth Adam Smith. While I normally write my own stuff, I reposted this particular article because, on first glance, it looked good and I was rushed with some wedding plans and didn’t have time to write. However, a friend (who is married and has more credibility on this issue than I) commented on my repost and brought some really good insights forward.

Namely, that the author is actually wrong.

The whole premise of his article is that marriage isn’t about a selfish quest to make yourself happy, and to a certain extent, he’s right. Marriage isn’t about you. But a lot of Christians, myself included, read through that and thought, “Oh yeah, that sounds Christian. And after all, the only young people to get married are Christians, so this must be from a Christian guy writing about Christian marriage!”

Wrong.

Here’s the thing. Marriage is a beautiful relationship that God created. It should not be about you because marriage shouldn’t be selfish. But it should not be about your spouse. Why? Because you’re marrying a flawed, sinful human being that cannot possibly bear the weight of your worship. Because at that point, that’s what it is. Your spouse becomes an idol when the entire marriage is all about them. If your entire reasoning for getting married is solely to make another person happy, you’ve missed something along the way. Of course, this makes sense considering the author’s viewpoint (a Mormon who subscribes to the “Anasazi Way”, a New Age spiritual philosophy about communal living).

But in some ways, he’s right. Marriage isn’t about you. But it’s not about your spouse. It’s about Jesus. I don’t expect Sean to write about that because he doesn’t believe in the Jesus that I believe in. But Christ has to be the center of a marriage. He brings balance to the whole thing and He is the one we worship. When two people are worshiping Christ within their marriage, then everything else really falls into place.

So is marriage about you? No. Is it about your spouse? No. Is it about Christ? Yes. It has to be about Christ because marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with the Church. Apart from him, the institution doesn’t make sense. It’s in the picture of Christ giving himself for the Church that we can understand marriage and the love that binds it together.

As my friend said, “Love is centered in Jesus, and true love may not always make your spouse “happy”– sometimes love is shown from one spouse to another through loving rebuke when the other is in sin.”

That’s what marriage is about.

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10 thoughts on “Why “Marriage Isn’t For You” Is Wrong

  1. You make a great point here, Kameron and I agree. I actually didn’t read Seth’s article, even though it got rave reviews, until you posted it because my schedule has been so busy and I was just reading from those that I communicate with regularly. I agree with your post but I also feel that in order to keep a marriage healthy, we should wake up every morning asking ourselves, “what can I do to make my wife/husband happy today?” In saying this I feel that what we do for our spouse, should be action or words that make Jesus proud. Just caring for each other in a loving, appreciative, supportive manner can be all that it takes.

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  2. So good! Thank you for writing this blog! Blessing to you!!!!

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  4. Thanks for posting this, and I think you have a good point, that marriage needs to be ultimately focused on Christ

    But there is one thing that I keep expecting to see here but I am not seeing, especially when things like “what marriage is about” is being discussed. I mean the purpose of marriage: the union of a man and woman for the purpose of having children and raising them. Yes, marriage should be about Christ, but it is also worth stating that the whole reason the marriage institution exists is to create a healthy forum for the birth and raising of children.

    There is a natural cycle of married life that goes something like this: conjugal union of the spouses, conception, pregnancy, and birth (and natural infertility for a period of time), and then the cycle repeats. In my opinion, any discussion of the meaning and purpose of marriage really should include reference to this natural cycle.

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    • Thanks for reading! 🙂

      While I agree that kids are a huge part of the marriage covenant, I don’t think the primary emphasis is on raising children. Naturally, you’re right that marriage provides a natural forum for that and they are extremely important, and from a secular perspective, raising kids is the only reason that the gov’t even cares (or cared) about marriage.

      But when I read Genesis, I find first a discussion about marriage (Genesis 2) that says that God made man and woman and it was not good for man to be alone and for this cause the two shall be joined together. So I think children are very important for a marriage and a blessing, but saying they are the purpose for marriage is a bit of a stretch. Like I say in my post, marriage is about glorifying Christ by imitating His relationship with the church.

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      • Yes, that is a good point.

        But we cook food in order to eat, and we work in order to make money for ourselves and our families. It is true that some may like to cook just to cook, and some may like to work just to work, but does that take away from the fact that the whole reason the art of cooking exists is so that we can eat, and the whole reason work exists is so we can provide for ourselves?

        The marriage bond may indeed exist for the purpose of the union of the spouses (like you stated above), but for most people that union naturally results in conception and childbirth. So, how can we define something apart from its natural result?

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