Modern Marriage Covenant: Honoring Christ or the Kardashians?

All of us are fallen, and all of us are very hard to live with – CS Lewis

Everyone has their natural born idiosyncrasies and foibles.

But these pet peeves become heightened exponentially when you throw two people in a full-time living situation.

When I was in college my personal mentor once told me that dating was a lot like the job interviewing process: Much of what you see is a front, and you better really like what you see, because it definitely not going to look or act better after you’re married.

I’m always amazed with some young couples who lead an unhealthy and tumultuous dating relationship and yet continue to glibly march towards a marriage covenant: As if marriage is going to magically dissipate all the issues between them.  Rather, it is probably going to exacerbate them.

Marriage is when men and women put on their big boy and girl pants and panties and resolve to do work in their relationship. Mix in some massive bills/debt and precious little kids pooping, crying, and bouncing around and this marriage thing is probably the hardest endeavor a human can undertake in their lifetime.

Marriage isn’t necessarily about keeping some teenage infatuation “loving feeling” going, it’s about keeping a sworn covenant to the death for the glory of God. The marriage covenant has ancient, even eternal, origins. This is a covenant that reflects the unbroken commitment Jesus (The Bridegroom) has for His church (bride) (Ephesians 5). This undying commitment came “before the foundations of the world.” Which makes it all the more tragic when modern marriages break apart at the seams: Families are broken AND the reflected image of Christ and His church has been effectively spat upon.

I’m not going to get into the issue too deep here, but: When heterosexual unions are broken and maimed for “differences” in taste like they are in America, homosexual union supporters rightly shake their head in disgust. Let’s be honest and repentant about our negligence and failures in this matter. As Alistair Begg has said, “Until the church learns how to cry, it loses any right to shout.”

Even though my wife, Jessica, is my beautiful best friend I fall short of the biblical standard for husbands. Yes I fall short, but I try my best not to fall stagnant. So I do get on my wife’s nerves when I don’t correctly fold and hangup my used towels, and she gets underneath my skin when she leaves the toilet seat down : ). We’re working on it. But we both have a higher vision than ourselves in this covenant, and it spurns us toward expressing mercy and grace when neither party is deserving of it.

Marriage isn’t meant to look like “the Notebook” or a Kardashian reality show. In marriage, we have the weighty opportunity to display Christ and His unconditional love for the church. If we’re married or plan on getting married at some point, let’s put on our working boots and big boy pants and fight, pray, and forgive in order to honor that goal.

Bryan Daniels

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Author: Bryan Daniels

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Jessica, and a father of three boys: Josiah, Gideon and Judah. I teach high school math as a job, read reformed theology as a hobby, and write this blog just for kicks. With the rest of my time I coach football and track.

38 thoughts on “Modern Marriage Covenant: Honoring Christ or the Kardashians?”

  1. Well said well said!!!! I love the Alastair Begg quote that you have ““Until the church learns how to cry, it loses any right to shout.”

    Tout Chez.

    God bless you for this post.
    Sherline. 🙂

  2. Great post. My wife and I are coming up on our 20th anniversary in about a month. Marriage is more than I thought it would be (and I thought I was pretty realistic) — more work, pain, joy, fulfillment, etc. My grandmother once said, “You can’t put an old head on young shoulders.” I understand now more than ever what she meant.

  3. So true. Without a genuine committment to Christ, I don’t think that my marriage would have survived the turmoil in our lives-especially the death of our son, Jesse.

  4. Huh. Kinda wish you’d told me this 25 years ago. I’m kidding of course, but thanks for this timely, balanced and heartfelt expos-eh of the real impact of marriage on real lives in real time. Real good.

  5. I believe that romantic movies are a HUGE source of misinformation, especially for young girls. Kelly and I are not perfect but we’ve sought yo model our marriage by Biblical standards.

    Two years ago, I watched as a friend of the family married a young man that she jad admitted to me only three days prior to to the wedding that she did not love. “I can always divorce him.” she had offered. I wish I could have stopped this train wreck.

    She didn’t even finish the honeymoon. I’ve always wondered if I should have gone to the groom. I don’t know that it would have done any good.

    I completely agree with your post. There is a new study that says that those who live together then marry have a higher divorce rate than those who don’t. You should check it out i saw it on Fox News Sandy

    1. Thanks for sharing Sandy. I have heard that tidbit about live in couples having a higher divorce rate. There is a lot of cultural and even educational misinformation out there. Keep plugging along and correcting it!

  6. When I was in high school/college I read stories of the bravest Christian martyrs and missionaries, and heartfully prayed, “God, I want to be challenged!” A few years later, He came to me and said, “Are you sure you’re ready for a challenge?” “Yes, God!” I pleaded. And then he introduced me to my now-husband 🙂 True story!

    Also, if it helps, we’ve found a great compromise where we both leave the seat completely covered – that way everyone’s got something to do!

  7. I could not agree with you more! Now, if you’ve read anything about me personally on my blog, you’ll notice that I beat the “woman at the well”. I don’t say this with frivolity or pride, but with a sense of sadness and praise to our Lord Jesus for His love and living water.
    In a college psychology class, I once read that 90% of all people get married for romantic reasons/physical attraction.
    Thank you for posting this. Each person in going into marriage needs to hear what you said!
    Blessings!!
    ~streim~

  8. Amen Amen Amen! I’m going on 18yrs of marriage with 6 kids still to raise. It’s WORK. It’s not always pretty ( hubby leaving toilet seat up or clothes RIGHT in front of the hamper ( ?? ) lol ) but we learn to work things out because I’m quite sure he has a list of things to say about me! We all fall short and drop the ball but it doesn’t mean giving up. Christ is our foundation. We can only strive to do our best with his help.

    Thank you brother for posting this. I hope and pray these young couples get with the program and take it seriously.

    Blessings to you!

  9. Amen. In a society that says the only true relationship is a physically intimate one, marriage has been demoted to a relationship just like every other one instead of occupying the special position God has given it. We need to stop listening to the world’s standard for “love” and start living out Christ’s example… i.e. laying down our lives and dying to self. Putting on our working boots and fighting, praying and forgiving, indeed!

  10. Bryan, Young married people need to hear this type of thing. People in America grow up looking to the next big event in life to solve all their problems. High School graduation, college graduation, first career job, marriage, having children, retirement…. You touched on something there, namely this thought pattern where young men and women think that everything is going to just get easier once they are married. Young men so blindly think that their issues with lust are going to disappear because their new wife is going to be 100% welcoming and satisfying all the time into the marital bed.

    Its high time that people in the churches dropped the façade of having perfect marriages, careers and families. So often we don’t see anything of any problems until something big happens like infidelity.

    It is so important for struggling sinners (Christians) to hear that people have problems and things are not always peachy. Marriage is not going to fix all your problems! That said, I love my wife, I love my children and I wouldn’t change them or my life for anything. It is work man. Sometimes my wife gets under my skin. Sometimes my three year old drives me up a wall. Slowly God is using them to teach me a lot of things. One being that because I have been forgiven and continue to be, I need to model that to my family. I need to be an example of our heavenly father to my children.

    Love you and appreciate what you are doing with your blog.

  11. I always love reading stuff like this–dispelling the myths of the world that marriage is a “happily ever after, the end” kind of deal. It’s a lot harder than that, and a lot better.

  12. Excellent post. Marriage is not a fairy tale. It truly is for richer for poorer, for better or for worse and in sickness and in health. Thank God my parents were a perfect example for my brother and I. Edward and Mable Palmer stayed married for 40 years until my father passed, then my Mom. My gentleman friend just lost his mother last month. His dad died in 2010. They were married 53 years. My friend and I are both in our 50s, never married, no kids. I’ve been through some horrible relationships the last one extremely abusive ended November 2007. After that I prayed for God to bless me with a godly Christian man. I was tired of dealing with thugs, hoodrats and bad boys. I met my friend in 2009 and of course we’ve had our ups and downs the biggest being from different races & cultures but I truly believe he is the one. First man I ever met who focused on God, the Bible and prayer. He belongs to the Eastern Orthodox Church and I’m a Baptist but we’re so much alike in our morals, beliefs and values it does not matter that we were born on opposite sides of the world. Ladies let God choose the man. Leave the players alone. Lesson learned. Now in a happy spiritual partnership! Hallelujah!

    1. Great testimony Deb! Awesome testimony of God’s grace and healing in broken situations. You go girl for not compromising and finding yourself a Jesus lovin’ man! Thanks for sharing…

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