It is where two sinners come together and must learn how to deal with their sinfulness. Ultimately, they must arrive to two conclusions:
1. They will never be perfect for one another, and humans are in a constant state of flux and change. Their ugliness will be known to one another. They must settle for conflict and friction as they struggle to either give or receive as much pleasure as possible.
2. They understand they can never be perfect for one another, nor were they intended to. A marriage is not reliant on how much pleasure or happiness it produces. Rather, it is relies on the promise of fidelity, life-long partnership, exclusivity, and selflessness. How beautiful and freeing this security!
How then, can we even approach such a thing, seeing we are changing, ugly, sinful creatures? Because we do not produce the model for marriage, but God has. Ultimately then, marriage is not merely about man and woman, but about God.
Greater yet, God not only defines marriage, but tells us how it works (understandably, given he created it). He would know what makes it work, and namely this is Him! Marriage, by its exclusive nature, necessitates selflessness, forgiveness, patience, kindness, compassion, etc. However these are things that don’t naturally occur in humans! If they did, we wouldn’t have things like divorce! Rather, with God in a marriage, we always have a perfect model for what marriage looks like!
God has every right to divorce mankind. We have broken the first commandment by placing ourselves as gods in our lives. We pursue pleasure for pleasures sake, because it makes us feel good. We are the lords of our lives, and we bring this into a marriage. However, God does not divorce humanity! Rather, he humiliates himself on the cross to show us the grandness and perfection of His love. He shows us how we are to be selfless and forgiving. Radically perfect love.
Because He showed this to us, namely in the form of the Cross, we can do this in a marriage (with His help). When God is part of a marriage, as it’s intended to be, partners can practice the selfless and forgiveness that they have witnessed AND experienced from the Almighty God! This is how God intended marriage, and how needed He is to make it work.
- “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.” (John 15:9)
- “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matt 5:48)
- “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant” (1 Cor 13:4)
- Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, Matt 6:12