One of God's purposes in marriage is reflect his character and unconditional love.
What does the "perfect" marriage look like?
Movies suggest it might be sharing breakfast in bed, a walk down a country lane or quiet time spent gazing into each other's eyes. Can you picture it?
Hardly! If your marriage is like most, you spend time wondering how the credit card bill got so high, or blaming your spouse for forgetting to register the car, or even arguing on the way to church.
Unfortunately, many husbands and wives fight battles over the small details of their lives together trying to prove how they are right and their mate is wrong.
But is this what God wants for marriage?
Our Need to Reflect His Image
Understanding God's three purposes for marriage is a key step toward having a more fulfilling marriage.
Early in the Bible, in Genesis chapter 1, we see the first purpose for marriage:
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness. . . God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them."
Marriages are to reflect God's image.
God's desire for Adam and Eve -- and all married couples -- is to reflect Him.
When we recognize our marriage should reflect the image of God and commit to this purpose, we will begin to make positive changes in our marriage relationship, taking a more understanding view of our mate.
His or her shortcomings become much less important to us than trying to please God and reflecting Him.
On the other hand, when we criticize our spouse or foster competition, we are actually reflecting the disunity of Satan and dishonoring God.
Division and disappointment follow. We become judgmental of our spouse.
Ultimately we become incapable of reflecting God's image.
Our Response to Reflect His Image
Knowing the first purpose for marriage -- to reflect God's image -- can protect us from hardening our hearts toward one another and help us make our marriages more pleasing to God.
For further reflection Read Genesis 1:26-28 and consider these questions:
- What areas in your marriage do not reflect the image of God?
- What commitments do you need to make in order to fulfill this purpose in your marriage?