I’ve had a couple of people ask me if I would write a post about my sermon I preached this past Sunday at Asbury about marriage. If you missed it, you can listen to the podcast here. I called this message Pinterest Perfect.
There are studies that show the more time we spend on social media, the sadder and more depressed we become. Why? Because we measure measuring what we deem to be our imperfect lives against the pictures, status, tweets, and pins of other’s lives. Our lives don’t measure up to others Pinterest Perfection. By the way, take some time to enjoy “Pinterest Fails” You’ll be entertained for hours.
We do the same thing with marriage. We try to Photoshop it. We try to make it appear to be perfect, when it isn’t. Marriage is never, ever perfect. It just isn’t. It’s the union of two imperfect, broken people. We pretend our marriages are perfect and amazing and strong because, as Christians, that’s what we have to do, right? We can’t have problems or failings or weakness. We say we put Christ in the center of our marriage, but we don’t understand what that means. To have Christ in the center of our marriage doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. We will still face temptations and fights and tough, tough times. But it does mean that we have something to stand upon and hold on to when tough times come.
Most of what we get about marriage we don’t get from the Bible, we get from culture. The notion of perfection. Or fair tales. Of happily ever after. That doesn’t actually happen in the real world, nor in the Bible. So, what does the Bible say about marriage?
First, it says that marriage is the first institution created. Before the church. Before government. Before anything else, marriage came first. And because of this, for this reason a man will leave his father and mother and cling to his wife. This means that the relationship between husband and wife must come first before all other relationships. Before parents, children, friends, everything. Not that those relationships are bad, they aren’t. They are good. But the marriage relationship has to be our primary one.
But here’s the other thing. Culture has taught us that our marriage is about happiness and fulfillment. It’s not. Your spouse will never make you happy. Hear me again. Your spouse will never make you happy. They will never fulfill you; they will never complete you. They can’t. They are broken and human like you. The only person that will make you happy, complete, and content is Jesus.
So, the key to marriage, as Paul tells us in Ephesians 5: 22-33 is not seeking our will and own way, but in a mutual submission. Wives submitting to husbands, husbands laying down their life for their wife. That passage is not about one “side” being in control, but about both sides, husband, and wife, valuing the other more than ourselves.
Every problem in marriage is solved by us honestly and completely putting our spouse ahead of ourselves.
That type of marriage is not Pinterest perfect. But it is authentically real. And that’s what the world needs. Not Christians being pretend perfect. But real, broken and chasing after Jesus.
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