Marriage: The Christian, Newlywed Perspective
Where to begin with this topic? First, I felt compelled to write my first blog on marriage with an overwhelming sense of urgency. Urgency? That is an odd word to use, seeing there is not much urgency for certain young couples to get married now-days. We live in a non-committed, one night stand, sex and no marriage world. But, that is exactly WHY I am here, taking my time to write this blog.
As already told in the title, I am a Christian. And this blog is meant for Christians OR for people who are curious about what it means to be a Christian and be married. Christians take a lot of heat when it comes to marriage and dating (IF you are a Christian doing it the way the bible commands) We wait till marriage to have sex, live in separate homes before marriage, and oh no, gosh forbid, choose to step into a covenant with their spouse which requires faithfulness emotionally, physically and spiritually.
So here I am, stepping out with my perspective on what it's like to be a Christian (and not a go to church on Sundays Christian, but a completely abandoned, surrendered to Jesus lifestyle Christian- which by the way, THAT is the ONLY definition of a Christian.) I am not here to condemned or judge. That is completely not my heart, and if you know me as a person, you will know that is not the case. Rather, I am here to point out (in my opinion) a better way a living. A free-er way of living, the way that was intended for you to live.
I got married to my husband Vincent on June 13, 2015. It was one of the most incredible, powerful days of my life. If you were at my wedding, you would have quickly noticed that I was crying, especially during the ceremony. I was crying from the time I woke up and started getting ready, to the end of the ceremony. These were tears of joy. But not only joy, but that day was a day where I felt the presence of God so tangibly, and so real. His love on that day was overwhelming, I couldn’t help but cry tears of adoration to my King. We took our wedding day as an opportunity to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ- the message of hope that has radically change my life and the life of my husband. As we gave our vows and exchanged rings, Vinnie and I knew that we were making a lifelong commitment to not only serve, love, and honor one another, but to serve, honor, and love our Lord and Savior FIRST.
With all of that said, here is perspective number one of the Christian newlywed:
1. Our marriage belongs to God, and God alone.
The first and greatest commandment in the bible is to "love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind." (Matthew 22:37-38) When I got married, this didn't change. Being a Christian means serving Jesus with your entire life. Our service to Him is our love being shown to Him. When I tell my husband I love Him, I back it up with my actions. The same way it is with Jesus- when I tell Jesus I love Him, I back it up with my actions, which means living and doing life the way He would. Vinnie and I know God brought us together. It was His plan for our lives to be married. God gave us this gift of marriage, so the only thing we can do is give it all to Him to use for His kingdom. Even though I am married and love my husband deeply, I will always love my God before him. Since God is love, He is the source of love. Without loving God FIRST I cannot love my husband well.
This brings me to my next point:
2. The purpose of our marriage is to point people to Christ.
If you've been to a Christian or Catholic wedding, you've probably heard the Pastor or Priest say to the groom "love your wife, as Christ loves the church." If you don't understand the context behind this, then this statement might rub you the wrong way. When many people think of church, they think of the building you go to on a Sunday morning. But biblically speaking, "church" refers to the people- people who follow Jesus. Jesus laid down His life for the church, or the people. He gave Himself for us, sacrificing His entire life so we could live now and forever. So when Christians are told "love each other as Christ loves the church", it means "lay down your life for one another, just as Christ laid down His life for you." It's referring to sacrifice, servant hood, and putting your spouse before yourself- every single day. As a husband and wife do this for one another, the world gets a glimpse of how God loves His people. As my husband and I serve, sacrifice, honor, and love each other, not just with our words, but our actions, people will see the character of the God we serve.
"Follow Godʼs example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God."
3. As we serve Christ, we serve one another.
As I wake up every day choosing to serve Christ and live the life He would want me to, that automatically blesses my husband. The bible lists the fruits of the Spirit in Galatians 5;
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
As I live and follow Jesus, I should be exemplifying love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, etc. (not perfectly, but at least consistently)... These qualities are all a result of walking with Jesus. Empowered by His Spirit, as we walk as Jesus walked, possessing these qualities and attributes, ultimately my marriage will be blessed. When I choose to allow God to help me to walk in love, peace, patience, and kindness, it serves Jesus and my husband. It's a win win!
"Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."
4. We are married to build each other up, not tear each other down.
The bible says 'life and death are in the power of the tongue." Marriage is a blessing, but it can definitely bring the worst out of you. For some reason, it's easier to treat the people closest to you the worst. In marriage, we will say and do things that we will regret. The point of this point is not saying "if you're a Christian and you're married, you'll never have problems, struggles and you're going to be all happy and lovey, dovey all the time!!!!" Um FALSE.
Whether you're a Christian or not, you will say and do things that are mean and nasty. But, for my husband and me, when we do make those mistakes, we ask for forgiveness. We have made a habit of this, speaking out loud "Do you forgive me?" and "yes, I forgive you." When we speak out our apologies, something truly shifts in the atmosphere. The weight of that moment is broken, and we can move on choosing to let go of any bitterness that wants to grow.
Because we are human, we will say and do things that we will want to take back. But when those moments happen, we must be humble and willing to give and receive forgiveness.
5. Marriage is wonderful, but it's not the answer to my happiness.
Marriage has been a huge blessing and gift to me, but it's not the answer to my overall happiness.
Jesus. He alone has been the source of my joy and contentment in life. My husband does not have the capability to fulfill my every need and desire. No human was meant to complete another human. If we enter marriage or any relationship with that perspective, we will be extremely disappointed.
6. Doing marriage and life Jesus’ way will not destroy your fun, but it will give you true life.
I have met a lot of people who were afraid to step into Gods plans for their life out of fear that they were going to miss out on something. This right here, is a lie. There is nothing the world can offer you that will fulfill you. The amount of joy, blessing, and purpose you receive from following Christ will cause you to never turn back to the world. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. When you choose to put Christ at the center of your marriage, this doesn’t mean you will get everything you want (to a point), but you sure will get everything you NEED (there is so much to this, so if you want to understand more about what I mean please contact me!) That’s something I quickly realized when I started dating Vinnie- he wasn’t any one I expected to be with, but God knew what I needed in a man to fulfill HIS plans for my life, which is ultimately the most important thing. Doing marriage Gods way doesn’t steal your fun, it adds to it. Choosing to be faithful to your spouse physically, emotionally, and spiritually will only bless you. What good comes out of an affair? What good comes out of making your spouse jealous or feel insignificant? There is NOTHING good that comes out of any choice that doesn’t choose to honor you spouse. Remember, God IS our Creator, so He knows the best way for His creation to live.
I really could keep listing points. Pointing others to Jesus is my passion in life and the reason why I'm alive, and my marriage is just a part of this as anything else. When you live for Jesus, He takes full control of your life- COMPLETELY. Being a Christian isn't just saying you love God, go to church, pray... being a Christian is living and walking with Jesus every moment of every day. Sunday isn't just Gods day- Sunday through Saturday is Gods day. Our world is a dark place, and it needs to see what being a Christ follower truly is about. My prayer is that you would not look at God with preconceived notions, but that you would look at Him through the eyes of scripture. We have the bible to tell us who God is, and when you read it in its context, you will see that the God Christians believe in is full of love, grace, mercy, and justice. Why would I want to serve a God that is anything less than this?
Whether you're married or not, if you seek Jesus, you will find Him. He wants you to come to Him as you are, whether you have it all together or you don't. Once again, being a Christian doesn't mean you have it all together. It means you realize how broken you are, and how desperate you are in need of a Savoir. Like I said, seek Jesus with your whole heart, and you will find Him. That is a promise He will never break. He can take the broken parts of your life and turn it into something beautiful for the world to see.
God bless you, and happy anniversary to my husband and best friend, Vincent.