Written by Paul J. Bucknell on May, 11, 2019
Your Goal for Marriage
What is Your Goal for Your Marriage?
Many of us are baffled by the question, “What is your goal for marriage?”
Those couples getting married are far too consumed with the process of getting married to focus on any goals after marriage! So many dreams, time, and money have gone to reach that one point—the big wedding day.
Remember your Wedding Walk?
Find a dream partner, go on dates, buy an engagement ring, and take the wedding vows. Most newly married couples believe good marriages are based upon creating exciting things to do together, just like in their dating days. Those couples who have both been so busy and distracted will actually find time spent together to be beneficial. It is not the excitement of the situation, however, but the spending of quality time together that will foster a healthy marriage.
Then the inevitable comes along. They realize that the magic of dates is lost. After all, there are only so many places to go to. Money gets short while boredom produces increasing disappointment and disillusionment. Problems develop. At this point, each spouse remembers not so subtlety dropped hints from others that marriage is not at all what it presents it to be. They start wondering. Am I married to the right person? Maybe they have one of those ‘poor’ marriages.
Our expectations for marriage should be high, but they are often misfocused. Has anyone ever explained with you that there is a more lofty goal for marriage than just being together in the same place sharing a home or bed? Below is a diagram that helps us see how the lack of proper goals for marriage lead to disappointing and ‘bad’ marriages. Read through each diagram starting at the left and work downwards.
Importance of Believing God’s Design for Marriage
Satan’s Modern Way
Because of mistaken notions and busyness, the engaged couple only focuses on the goal of a great wedding. They believe a good marriage naturally arises from their mutual affections.
They spend time doing things together because they believe being together makes them happy much like an extended date. Their relationship is based on doing things together.
Without God’s purpose and forgiveness, their marriage defaults to the world’s way filled with disillusionment.
Live separate lives together as long as it works out.
God’s Designed Way
This engaged couple enjoys planning for marriage but realizes that intimacy is their real goal (physical intimacy comes after marriage). They work together on overcoming personal problems because they see them as a hindrance to an intimate marriage.
They learn their roles of husband and wife from their Designer as found in God’s Word. Genuine concern for their spouse rather than one’s self form a solid foundation of an intimate marriage.
With God’s purpose and forgiveness, their marriage by God’s grace increasingly conforms to His design.
Intimate sharing between spouses deeply enriches their lives.
The two diagrams illustrate the approach to purity that two different couples take.
Two different approaches
Singles often have different preconceptions about marriage. The modern method focuses on getting hitched. God’s way also focuses on getting ready for marriage but also prepare for the greater goal of shared lives. For them, the wedding is only the starting point, not the finish line. The actual implementation of a developing intimacy starts here.
Each couple also has a set of beliefs. These beliefs shape their expectations and activities. The modern method focuses on doing exciting things. At times they wonder whether it is the activity or the person that makes it so appealing. God’s way spends lots of time talking and praying together. They even do Bible studies together so that they can better understand what God has in mind for their marriage. They encourage and pray for each other to live God’s ways.
Bottom of the Chart
The modern method proceeds without a plan. They end up defaulting on what is popular in the culture. Many are now even confused about whether marriage is also necessary. Before the wedding, the couple often considers marriage an ongoing romantic relationship but after marriage can quickly default to a financial arrangement shortly after marriage. They mainly live separate lives together subtly planted the seeds for divorce.
Assessment of Your Marriage
What is the goal of marriage?
- Have the engaged or husband and wife privately write down their goals for their marriage. Compare responses.
- What should one’s goals be?
- What steps can one take to implement those goals?
On a range from 0 to 10 (deep), how intimate is your marriage? What has helped and hindered them in gaining this intimacy?
The wedding, though very important, was only a step toward that intimacy. The wedding solidifies the person to whom they will work together in becoming increasingly intimate. They are hardly perfect, but by keeping God’s standard and offering lots of forgiveness, sharing, reflection and praying, they work together building on the beautiful design of marriage for their lives.
The goal in marriage is not just to be together under the same roof or even to become financially independent from one’s parents. God designed for the couple to become intimate or “one” as the Bible teaches.
• What is this intimacy?
• Where does this intimacy come from?
• How do we reach it?