I celebrated my first year of marriage last weekend at a baseball game in San Francisco, and afterwards we splurged on some of the most amazing carbs I have ever consumed (praise the Lord for Italian food)! As we sat and had a glass of wine over our eggplant parmigiana (insert Italian accent), I reflected on how much my perception of marriage has changed over the last year.
I realized that there are so many different things that our culture has to say about marriage. I’ve heard the perspective of staying at home, cooking and cleaning to honor your husband and your marriage. I’ve heard that you should both work in your careers and not have kids until you’re 30. But my question is, what are the motives behind these roles? Are people trying to fit a mold? or do they want to find Jesus in their marriage? I’m not talking about going to church on Sunday mornings and attending a Bible study once every two weeks. I’m talking about the uncomfortable. I’m talking about the biblical purpose of marriage.
Before I got married my mother and my grandmother would say things like, “I want to send you your great grandmothers recipe book so that you can make Kayden some of her favorite recipes”, and “do you have a washer and dryer inside of your apartment? Kayden is in construction, I’m sure there’s a lot of laundry that you’ll need to do every day.” If you knew me at all, you would know that I had to bite my tongue and say a prayer to the Lord for strength in this moment!
My mother and my grandmother were raised in a home where that’s all they knew – the women stayed home and the men worked. The women had children to raise, they had meals to cook and a house to clean. So of course, they would love to bestow their knowledge upon the first daughter to get married in the family.
If I am going to be completely honest, I was absolutely terrified.
There is so much weight behind that stereo typical wife. I mean, washing clothes isn’t that hard, and cooking may be difficult for some, but that’s not what I’m talking about. There is so much weight in fulfilling everyone else’s view of marriage and dropping everything you ever thought about your future.
I believe that God has definitely called some women in life to fulfill their purpose and their calling inside of their marriage. This is absolutely honorable and I applaud women who have that kind of heart, because that kind of heart is fading in today’s culture.
But something that I have personally noticed in my first year of marriage that has almost completely faded into nothingness, is the radical love and unity between a husband and a wife in the pursuit of Christ and His call for the world.
Yes, this can be done in being a stay at home wife and mother. Raising children is one of the most important things a woman can do, and that is a calling and a mission in and of itself! Specifically speaking, I just notice that not many Christians are comfortable with the uncomfortable, which is mind boggling to me.
Where in the bible does Jesus portray a life that is comfortable and relaxed? Where in the bible does Jesus portray a life that is easy going? I know this may ruffle some feathers in some people, but if I didn’t say it, I’m not sure who would.
For example, if you’re a mother to teenage boys, do you allow your sons to invite non-believers over to your home for a meal? I mean, really “of this world” teenagers. Those who make you raise an eyebrow and question their mother’s child-rearing techniques because of the choices or words they use and phrases they are bringing into your home. Do you step out of your comfort zone and invite that type of child into your home to show them acceptance regardless of their current life stage and earthly circumstances? Do you show them a glimpse of what a relationship with Christ could look like?
What I am trying to get at here is, are we choosing to have a Kingdom perspective instead of an Earthly perspective?
Let’s be clear. No, I’m not a mother, but I have been around many that continually choose comfort instead of the Great Commission.
If you were to reflect and ask yourself how many people you know who step outside of their comfort zone (and may even look like “idiots” to modern society because of their pursuit of Jesus), how many marriages have you witnessed in your life that reflect this?
I totally get that not every marriage has a drastic call. Everyone’s marriage looks different and I am not trying to place any judgement here. My goal here is to ask you to reflect and see if you’re focusing more on the marriage between you and your husband, or the marriage between God, you and your husband.
Choosing to give your marriage for the will of God is what His whole purpose is for marriages, to do exceedingly more than one could ever do, through the union of two.
Before I got married there were so many different opinions that were thrown my way. There were so many emotions and so much excitement to be unified with this man who I loved with my whole entire soul. I realized that it is so easy to become near sighted in my relationship with my husband. It’s so easy to only see what is right in front of us, and it can begin to become difficult to see God’s will and purpose on my marriage.
We begin to only see our first apartment.
We begin to only focus on what we are going to cook for dinner.
We begin to fixate on whose family’s house we will stay at for Christmas.
I have learned that it takes great discipline to constantly rid yourself of your human desires of just an earthly relationship when it can be so, so much more.
I firmly believe that God created marriage to excel two human beings so that they can conquer far more for God’s kingdom than one person can ever can do alone.