“Marriages can so easily become introverted and indulgent. The couple spend most of their time with each other. Because marriage is a such good thing, this is often justified with fine-sounding Christian language.” Most of which is born out of the fear of all the failed marriages we experience around us. “But introverted marriages eventually shrivel and they become small marriages with small horizons.” (Tim Chester: Gospel Centred Marriage, p20)
But that is not what God wants for your marriage. Your marriage is to be a picture of the relationship between God and his people. Between Christ and the church. Your marriage is not your own. You have been blessed in order to be a blessing to the world. God’s desire is that your marriage is big and full and rich and satisfying. And here is the paradox of grace, how do you get that rich, full and satisfying marriage? By hoarding it? By protecting it? By incessant me-time? Date Nights? Alone time? No you find the joy and the richness and wonder of God’s plan for marriage when you fling open the door of exclusivity and your marriage becomes a partnership of blessing and of grace.
Resist the urge to have a small marriage. Lots of good, well-meaning and Christian sounding advice will encourage it. You will find lots of reasons to justify it. But fight instead for a big marriage – a marriage of blessing, of grace. A marriage that is a beautiful reflection of our beautiful Saviour.
Give your lives away in the service of our Saviour. Share your bread with the hungry, your home with the hurting, your table with unlovely. Love deeply. Share generously. Dream big, kingdom sized dreams together. Create a home of rest and of restoration for a broken and hurting world. Risk everything for His mission. Share the gospel passionately. Wrestle with his Word. Value mission over materialism. People over programmes. Prayer and Rest over busyness. Serving over having. Have soft hearts. Live with contentment. Give generously and bless extravagantly.
The world and well-wishers will offer you all sorts of well-meaning advice but block your ears to the play-it-safers, block your ears to the middle-of-the-roaders, the keep-it-respectables and the play by the rulers Block your ears and run to embrace God’s bigger, greater and altogether more beautiful calling on your lives and your marriage. And then your marriage will be like that city on a hill, where the light cannot be hidden. It will point beyond itself to the wedding feast of the Lamb. It will be a bold and beautiful declaration in word and deed that it good to live under the reign of King Jesus.