Many young people today enter into marriage with an erroneous idea of what marriage is. They marry someone based on feelings of physical attraction or because of a ticking “marriage clock”, having no idea of the self-sacrifice and determination it takes to make a marriage work. I believe there are 5 persistent marriage myths that set young couples off on the wrong track. Here they are:
Marriage Myths Busted
1. My spouse will meet my emotional needs for love, acceptance and fulfillment.
Truth: Your spouse is a fallen human being and can never give you the full measure of love and validation that you need. That can only come from God.
2. If I marry the “right person”, the romantic feelings that I feel now will always be there.
Truth: Feelings come and go like the tide. Those romantic feelings of love and adoration you feel for your partner when you first meet are unsustainable in the day to day work of real life. Not that you will never feel them again after the honeymoon is over, because, you will! It’s just that marriage cannot be built on the foundation of those feelings.
3. God’s ultimate goal for your marriage is your personal happiness.
Truth: Believe it or not, God’s ultimate purpose for you and your spouse in marriage is not happiness. His desire is that you are obedient to him and to his Word. That means staying married! As you determine to love your spouse year after year in self-sacrificial service and devotion, God will reward that obedience. He will give you an inner peace and joy that you could never have imagined. If you are currently in the storm of a failing marriage or divorce, I truly feel your pain. I encourage you to seek Christian counseling and to call on the power of the Holy Spirit to help you. But remember, God wants your obedience more than your present happiness. (A recurring chorus heard from many women seeking divorce is: “I am not happy.”)
4. The grass is greener on the other side.
Truth: Scores of women have left marriages hoping to find another man who will make them feel more treasured and fulfilled, only to find that there is no perfect man. Imagine that. All men are human beings and therefore come with their own set of weaknesses, struggles and bad habits, (just as we women do!). In reality, the grass is as green as you make it.
5. There is only one “right” person for me.
Truth: If love is a verb and is something that we must purpose to do then, the idea that there is only one person for you doesn’t hold water. You see, many women when going through divorce will say, “I just married the wrong person”. Women who are believers should seek (with much prayer) a man who is also a believer–with whom they share common values and ideas about marriage and family–and then settle down to do the work of building a home that is Christ-honoring and effective for the kingdom. There is more than one young man in the world with whom that can occur under the guidance and direction of the Lord, Jesus Christ. The excuse that, “I married the wrong person”, is not a valid reason for divorce.
God’s design for marriage is that it be a reflection of the relationship of Christ and the church–a relationship of sacrificial love and devotion. It is also to be a place where the next generation of believers is birthed and nurtured so that the gospel may go forth into this broken world for generations to come.
My prayer for young wives today is that they would seek validation and fulfillment in God alone, understanding how precious and valuable they are to Him. I pray they would believe that love is a verb–something we are called to do, not something we feel. And I pray for long-lasting, God-honoring marriages for all of my readers.
( Please note: I am not proposing or advising that anyone should stay in a marriage where there is physical abuse occurring to the wife or children. If that is the case in your marriage, please seek help immediately and remove yourself from the situation.)
“So God created man in his image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.'” Genesis 1:27-28 (NIV)
“For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24 (NIV)
“A wife of noble character who can find. She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:10-12 (NIV)