Our world revolves, for the most part, around marriage and family and I think there are very good and God-ordained reasons for that. God had a plan for marriage and family from the beginning.
I’m honored to get to share my thoughts with you on this …. Because I think these are topics that matter.
Why does marriage matter?
- Iron sharpens iron. Marriage has the ability to make us less self-focused. We have to grow in our capacity to live with another person. All. The. Time. I am not the same person I was before I got married. My husband isn’t either. We’ve encountered some significant bumps along the path, but in our over 30 years of marriage, we have found that being in a marriage relationship with each other has challenged us to become a better version of who God created us to be.
- Marriage also matters because it is a picture of the Gospel lived out in real time before others. With Christ at center stage, the believer’s marriage exemplifies Jesus’ love for His bride. It is meant to be a beautiful symbol of God’s love, grace, forgiveness and redemption that draws others into a relationship with their Creator.
Why does family matter?
Family, to me, is the first glimpse we get of how to live in community. I have 3 sisters. We were all raised with the same two parents, under the same roof but all four of us have unique likes and dislikes and very different personalities.
I have three children. They, too, have had the same two parents and lived under the same roof and they are very different from one another.
As our families grow and develop, we can learn how to be (or not to be in some cases) in relationship with others who are different from us. What we learn as we live in community with our family members equips us to live in future personal relationships as well as those we encounter in our vocations.
Family matters for many wonderful reasons but the one that bubbles to the top for me is that family teaches us how to live in community.
We can rest assured that marriage and family matters because if it didn’t, these relationships would not be a primary target for the fiery darts of evil. In short, marriage and family matter because they are good. If satan can bring about destruction to a marriage and a family, he can tear down the very fabric of the Church. And if we’re honest, these days, the institution of marriage, family and church are looking a bit threadbares.
Why does it matter that marriage and family matter?
Marriage and family matter because they give us a perspective on purpose and vision like no other relationships can. But they mostly matter because no other human relationship has the ability to point to the sacred love of Christ and His Bride, the Church, quite like marriage and family relationships.
When we know what the purpose of marriage and family is, we can know better how to maintain and strengthen their foundations. If we want our marriage and family units to matter for the Kingdom, we must see them as having long-term purpose for the fulfillment of the Gospel and then allow Jesus to remove the scales from our eyes revealing clear vision to fulfilling that purpose.
As I read this article, authors Joel and Nina Schmidgall explained that in Mark 8, there are three stages of healing that Jesus took the blind man through. Touch, sight, then vision. It seems that in so many relationships, we have not placed ourselves in a position to experience the touch of Jesus and if we have, we seem to have become stuck in the “blurry vision” stage, “He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” (Mark 8:24 NIV) It’s clear vision that we need and many of us, content with our blurry outlook, are missing it.
One concept of noteworthy importance is that we must see marriage and family relationships as a process, not a goal. They are for sanctification, not success. They are for the growth of the Gospel, not personal gain.
My prayer for us all is that we, like the blind man, will experience the touch of Jesus, gain our sight, blurry as it may be. But then pass through the blurry vision stage and embrace the clear vision for the future of our marriages and families.
Why? Because it matters.
For further reading and reflection:
Book:Praying Circles Around Your Marriageby Joel and Nina Schmidgall and Mark Batterson
Andrea Stunz has been a Christ-follower from the age of seven. She is the loyal wife to one, loving mom to three amazing adult children, grateful mother-in-law and ridiculously proud grandmother. A well-traveled Texan, having lived in Brazil, Asia, and the UK, Andrea finds joy in her family, grace in her friends, beauty in a story, purpose in the sunrise, wonder in her travels, and hope in Colossians 1:17. Andrea longs to encourage others by sharing stories because “a story worth living is a story worth sharing”. Find more from her at AndreaStunz.com.