Mark: Jill and I were talking about marriage the other day with some friends. He said, “You know I think most of us get married for the wrong reason.” I asked him to explain.
Jill: He went on to say that if we’re honest most of us get married to have our needs met. Deep down we believe this person will do that. Initially, it may seem that he or she does meet our needs. Over time, however, when life begins to be more predictable and routine, it often feels like we no longer are getting our needs met.
Mark: That’s when we either bail on the relationship or dig deeper to see if there is a bigger reason for marriage. As we talked with our friends two of those reasons came to mind:
- To serve. We get married to bring kindness, joy, companionship, help, a servant heart, and sacrifice to our loved one. The Bible talks about this “mutual submission” in Ephesians 5:22-23. When we get married, we’re usually looking out for number one (me). Unknowingly, we even bring needs that weren’t met in childhood into our marriage. Instead of looking to have our needs met, we need to be looking at how we can serve our spouse.
- To grow. When we get married our sin nature rises to the top. Selfishness, pride, control, deceit, and other actions that protect “me” and watch out for “me” make an appearance. It isn’t easy to live under the same roof with someone so different. It isn’t easy to compromise. It isn’t easy to sacrifice your wants and desires to accommodate your spouse’s wants and desire.
Jill: When it comes to needs in our marriage, too often we’re expecting a spouse to fill needs that only God can fill. Our expectations might appear genuine but with a closer look we’ll discover they actually aren’t. We end up putting so much pressure upon our spouses and each of us end up discouraged and disappointed.
Mark: Jill sure did feel that from me. I placed so much pressure upon her to fill my love tank, to want sex more, to be different than she was, and honestly to be what I wanted her to be. She really began to feel that she could never be enough.
Jill: That is how I felt. I was actually making an effort to do many of the things Mark desired but it was never enough. Mark was expecting me to fill his needs and cravings that only God could fill.
Mark: It wasn’t until I genuinely surrendered and did a U-turn in my head and my heart that everything between us began to change. Jill could be herself and I could be me. Wow was that a time of transformation!
Jill: So today, we bring these questions to you: Why did you get married? Was it for the wrong reason?
Mark: Can you see how God wants us to use marriage to serve and to grow? If you’re even considering bailing, can we ask you to instead dig deeper and examine what’s driving your discontent?
Jill: Oh and one more thing, Mark and I recently talked with Dr. Gary Chapman (author of The Five Love Languages) about all things marriage. If you, or you and your spouse, would like to listen to the conversation, you can do that here.
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