The Life of an “Individual” Marriage

Monday, December 13, 2010

I haven’t written here in a while. I suppose it is because I have been “busy” with other things and life. I think I need to start this up again, and writing out some of my opinions, what I believe the Lord puts in my heart (based on His Word), and some of the frustrations that are brought on by my observations.

Though I have neglected to write on this blog, I have written some in my personal journal – and I do still very much have opinions that need to be written out or my head and heart may implode.

Though at this stage and season of my life, I only have the role of a daughter and sister. I definitely have a strong standard, convictions, and opinions on the role of a wife and noble woman. Not that I have met this standard myself (I am far from it) but I know the standard that is set before me that is spoken and laid out by God himself…

There are so many marriages to observe and learn from while you are un-wed. I pray that these lessons stick in my heart deep, because I do not want to cause this misery I observe to the man I marry.

In this post, I have on my heart to write of an “individual” marriage… not as in, a particular marriage, but about the marriage of individuals…

God created us, male and female… we are two different creatures with two different roles and different strengths and weaknesses. He creates each of His children individually, specially and uniquely made. I don’t think many people really quite know what they’re getting into or signing up for when they get married… that’s probably why the divorce rate has increased so much over the years and is still at 50% (including in Christian households – sad). Females, in my humble opinion, for the most part typically fall in love with being “in love” (or so they think). I’ve observed many a Christian girl who so desperately want to be married, and I often wonder if they truly know who they’re marrying and what they think they’re marriage will look like.

We live in a society that pushes “fairy-tale love” instead of REAL love… independence and individuality instead of service and denying-self. We grow up in this society saying that it is “right” and “normal” to be the former, in some cases we’re even taught it or fed it by our parents. Movies, music, books, news, peers, friends, etc. all push the “fairy-tale love” or the touchy-feely butterflies love, and to be independent and individual. I am not denying that there is physical attraction (and should be), that you do get butterflies when you love someone, but I’m saying – is this true love or just infatuation or lust sometimes? You grow up with peer-pressure from all sides telling you you need to move out at this time, or disobey/dishonor your parents in this way, or be in a relationship in order to “be somebody”. With the physical society tangible world yelling one thing, it’s difficult to hear the still small voice of Yah saying the opposite… the still small voice that says ‘honor your parents’ ‘serve’ ‘deny yourself, take up your cross – follow me instead of the world’ ‘I’ll show you what true love is’ and even ‘I’ll show you what real marriage looks like’. Yet we choose to break the Father’s heart and go our own way – holding on to our individuality, independence, and cheap version of love and marriage…

I’m not sure if I’m forming the picture or explaining my point very well, but bare with me…

Let’s just take an example of the average American Christian female. She desperately wants to be married because she sees the beauty of it in her own parents lives (or maybe her parents’ marriage wasn’t so great and she thinks she can do better) and knows that the Lord set up marriage in the very beginning. Nothing wrong with that, right? She’s independent and was raised to have her own life… she dates a great Christian guy for a couple years, and they “fall in love” and get married. Here’s where the reality check starts to come in for our average American Christian girl… the fairy-tale love and dream of marriage doesn’t look like she thought it would. She’s losing her individuality and doesn’t know who she is anymore! She worrys all the time about bills and money or dishes and food, ‘he’s not affectionate enough’, ‘he’s not the man I married’… Now what?

I think this case happens with a lot of marriages though… because instead of loving the other person, denying ourselves, seeing our spouse as someone to become ONE with, and to lift above ourselves… we’ve been fed the crap of individualism, and fall in love with being “in love” or being “married” instead of falling in love with a person. Huh… funny how its so similar to the Christian walk – we so often fall in love with the blessings, “being a Christian”, belonging to a group, “saving others”, worshiping, praying, reading our Bibles, learning more, forgiveness, not going to Hell, etc… that we forget the Person, Jesus Christ, we don’t LOVE Him for real then, do we? We’re in love with ourselves at that point, and our own legend… just like the female Christian example was in love with herself and the picture she painted in her head of “marriage”.

This marriage then becomes two roommates… two people fighting for their individuality… or maybe in some cases 1 person fighting for their individuality, and the other trying to be one with one. In this case, the person fighting for individuality is sucking the life out of or using the other who is trying to serve and be one.

Individualism is a scary thing in a marriage. The beauty of marriage is that you are two individuals… BECOMING ONE! That’s how God set it up… but we so often screw it up. Holding on to your “individuality” when you’re married is incorrect – and is not a marriage. You do lose your “individuality” because you are no longer just your own, you belong to the other – that was part of your covenant sealing before God, that’s what you signed up for and made a promise to. If you don’t think you did, then you’re wrong and you weren’t completely there at your wedding ceremony. But it’s like holding on to your individuality when God asks you to deny-yourself and follow Him – it just can’t work. You can’t give your life over to the Lord and then try to take it back. You follow one master or the other, there is no in between – no grey areas… you should deny yourself in your earthly marriage, otherwise you’re simply loving yourself. What you do affects the other, and visa versa – you are one. When you married someone, you took all of them – flesh, habits, personality, quirks, and all… they are one with you and you are one with them. You are no longer JUST an individual, you took on this other person – your soul mate – you belong to them. So if you wed with the wrong idea of marriage, of course you’ll think you’re “losing your individuality”… because you are SUPPOSED to. You do have individual giftings, weaknesses, and strengths – but they are to be used in the process of becoming one. You can no longer be selfish, your own, just you… you must consider the other above yourself, be selfless, wash his feet….

Marriage to someone on earth is a reflection of your relationship (marriage) with the Lord… it’s the earthly symbol of it. How amazingly cool is that?! So many people don’t treat it this precious though, we’d rather hold on to our selves and our individuality… instead of serving the other individual and becoming one with him… read the Bible for instructions on marriage if you’re losing sight of what it really is all about.

I know this isn’t a very organized post, but I was simply sharing… I didn’t say as much as I wanted to, or in the way in which I wanted to, but there you have it. I’ll post some Bible verses to back this all up…

Genesis 2:24
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become ONE FLESH.

Psalm 119:33-36
Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.

1 Corinthians 7:3-4
The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife’s body does not belong to her alone but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband’s body does not belong to him alone but also to his wife.

1 Cointhians 13:4-8a (we all know this one… but do we actually act upon it?)
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not SELF-SEEKING, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Ephesians 4:22-24
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

READ Ephesians 5
READ Colossians 3
READ 1 Peter 3 (by the way females, in this passage it states that wives are the weaker partner – if you have a problem with this, you have a problem with God… God’s word is true, and wives ARE the WEAKER partner – whether you like it or not, to put it bluntly)

Revelation 19: 6-9
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herselve ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear.”

(Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)

Then the angel said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!'” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

I know there are lots of others, but I have to actually write them out because they won’t copy/paste. But soak in these for a while… let the Lord come in and move, repent if you need to, and allow Him to change your heart.

Also, remember to go wash his feet in some way… by washing His feet.

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