What does marriage mean to an individual either a husband or a wife?
I have heard wives and husband say some things about cleaning, cooking, mowing lawn or fixing something for the other, BUT;
Marriage is not cleaning the house; you can get someone to do that for you or a service that will come in and clean. It is not washing or ironing your clothes; you can get the laundry to do that. It is not cooking food (good or bad); you can get catering service to do that for you.
Marriage is not bringing home the money; you can go out and earn the money yourself. It is not about cutting the lawn; you can get gardening services to do that. It is not about fixing the leaking tap; you can get a plumber to do that.
Marriage is about two people becoming one flesh. It is about a joining together of two people so that they become one. Still individual’s but with a common vision, a common goal, a common set of moral standards, that they have worked out together. It is about knowing and trusting your partner intimately. Remember that getting to really know someone intimately takes a lifetime, a lifetime of sharing (talking to one another) Ones thoughts, joys, fears and secrets. It is about knowing the worse thing that your husband or wife has done (and maybe will do) and still loving them. Marriage is about this intimacy that come through sharing with each other that makes one’s love and trust in your partner grow stronger and larger each day. It is about wanting to spend the rest of ones life getting to know this person, every detail, it is about growing up and growing old together. I am not talking about only intimacy of the soul, mental or spiritual nature but also physically nature (yes I am talking about sex). Getting naked physically in front of your partner is sometimes easier that getting naked in other area’s of your life in front of your partner. It is the trust that is built up over time that allows one to become naked in front of ones partner. It is not a once off thing during the honeymoon phase, but one need to continue to take time out to be intimate with ones partner. This intimacy is the main focus of marriage, but it does not distract from the everyday things we do for our home; the cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn, fixing the tap etc. The most important thing in marriage is the intimacy. The other things will take care of themselves if we get the intimacy right.
Too many times we focus on the thing we do in the home that we forget the intimacy we should have with our loved one. Because we lose that intimacy, we then start to complain, or we become resentful. We start to compare who is doing the most in this marriage and complain that the other is not doing enough or we become resentful that they are not pulling their weight, whereas we are doing it all (you can look at your partner and smile; I think that we have all done this).
We need to return to that intimacy, we start to revive the love that we felt when we first met. As a new dating couple deeply in love, one tends to spend many hours together just staring into each other eye’s or talking about love, life and the future. Taking a walk along the beach, hand in hand, and seeing the world in a new light; a viewpoint that comes from spending time with someone that you love.
And that is only a shadow, the reality is found in Christ
I am not only talking about marriage to your physical partner, but also our relationship with Jesus Christ. Too many times we make it about going to “church”, Sunday morning worship, the Tuesday/Wednesday bible study, daily reading and daily praying. Besides our normal work days, the social life, the girl/boyfriend, wife/husband/kids that we have to think about. We have lost our focus on what is important in our relationship with Jesus Christ.
We are the Bride of Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2; Revelation 19:7-9), His partner in this adventure called life. We need to spend time talking, sharing our thoughts, joys and fears with Him. Do we realize that He know the worst thing we have done or are going to do, yet He still loves us so much that He laid down his life for us. That is why we worship Him. That is why we want to get to know this Christ. That is why we want to get to know Him intimately. The more we see this beautiful Christ, this marvelous Jesus the more we will fall in love with Him.
Jesus Christ knows our very thoughts and intent of our heart, but he requires us to want to share our thoughts, feeling, fears and secrets with Him (He know them already, he just wants us to trust Him enough to tell Him). We need to make a conscious decision to share our lives, our fear, our secrets, our innermost thoughts with Him.
In Watchman Nee’s sermon on “MINISTRY TO THE HOUSE OR TO THE LORD” (found here; please read it) he asked this question “Have you been seeking to meet the need around you, or have you been seeking to serve the Lord?“ The question is are you in the holy of holies behind the veil that God tore from top to bottom and where the presence of the Lord is or are you in the outer court doing things, which is not the most important thing in this relationship; that is of intimacy with Jesus Christ.
The more time we spend time with Him the easier it is to follow Him and hear His voice and to share the common vision, the common goal, of the will of God in our lives.