Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Approaching Marriage with the Gospel

My wife, Heather, once said that our marriage is the most beautiful, most broken thing she has ever experienced. I concur. I still think that Dave Harvey wrote When Sinners Say 'I Do' about us. I'm not sure what either one of us was expecting when we entered marital bliss, but I do know that we both got a whole lot more than we bargained for.

Paul Tripp wrote a wonderful book called What Did You Expect? for those of us who woke up after the honeymoon and wondered (though we would never say it outloud), "Who is this person next to me and what happened to the person I married?!" Tripp explains how he approaches marriage with the gospel:
My whole approach to marriage is the Gospel, because I’ve got to understand that marriage is about a flawed person living next to a flawed person in a fallen world, but with a faithful God. So, I can’t look to my husband or wife to be my own personal messiah. No one is ever married to the fourth member of the trinity. There’s three seats and they’re well taken. So, I can’t ask for my husband or wife to give me identity, or meaning and purpose, or inner sense of well being. The minute I do that I put a pressure on my marriage that it can’t bare. Thousands of couples are doing that.
I’ve heard a hundred wives say, ‘All I ever wanted was a man who would make me happy.’ Oh my goodness! He should love you, but if you’re looking at that man to be the source of your happiness you’re in big trouble, because he’s a flawed human being. So, you can’t understand marriage without the Gospel.
Though our marriage is broken, it nevertheless is beautiful because it has again and again pointed us both to our Faithful Bridegroom who alone can bring us true and lasting wedded bliss.

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