How long does it take for a marriage to be perfect?
We could absolutely answer this question with a certain number of years. We could say that it takes 5 years, because if your marriage even gets to year 5, you are in the clear. Or we could say 10 years. Marriages that last 10 years have learned the secrets to a successful marriage and this marriage has reached perfection. I mean, we could also say that 25 years is the target number of years to be married. Because 25 years means that you have been through so many years of ups and downs, and you have weathered the storms and you have made it! However, we are not going to say that any number of years equals a perfect marriage.
As believers, we know that there is no amount of time that equals perfection for the Christian. The Christian life is to be endured for a lifetime and we still will not be perfected until we go to be with Christ. (Phil 3:12)
We endure suffering, loss, sadness, hurt, yet we have hope in knowing that the day will come when the Lord will wipe away every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death. There will be no more pain. The former things will pass away. (Rev. 21:14) We have hope in a better future, an eternal future!
Why then is it so easy-ish to know that perfection in the Christian life will take a lifetime, yet we don’t want to wait longer than 2 years for our marriages to be ‘perfect’???
Marriage is an extension of sanctification
Sanctification! Such a big word. What does this mean? The action of making or declaring something holy; the action or process of being freed from sin or purified.
The Christian life is a life that is being sanctified over the whole lifespan of the believer. Marriage is just an extension of that sanctification. Marriage is something that the Lord has given us to assist in our growth or development of the fruits of the spirit.
Today, at our Sunday gathering one of the pastors said something so awesome, I think we need to re say it here. The bible is something we should use “as mirrors where we look at ourselves and not as much at others” Pastor Ty Neal
In marriage, we spend so much time looking at what our spouse is ‘doing wrong’, and not enough time looking at what WE are doing wrong. Which, I guarantee, is a lot, being that none of us are good, not even one! (Romans 3:10)
So, if none of us are good, you are just as horrible as the spouse that you are blaming for your imperfect marriage!
No one is perfect!
Being that no one is perfect or will be perfect until the day that Jesus returns, our marriages will not be perfect because the two people in the marriage are not perfect!
Ok, I know that just blew your mind, but it is pretty accurate. We are imperfect people coming together to form not something perfect, but something beautiful! (Ephesians 5:22-32). A picture to the world of Christ and the church. Our married life was never promised to achieve perfection. Meaning that perfection should not be the goal. Why? Because it is an unattainable goal.
Our marriage may be frustrating, yet we are learning to practice patience. Our marriage may make us mad, yet we are to learn how to love the way Jesus loves. Our marriage may be unworthy of being tied to, yet we are learning to press on toward the main goal, which is being perfected with Christ in eternity! No matter the condition of our marriage, there is something that is in THIS marriage, that the Lord wants us to learn through. And he who started a ‘good thing’ WILL bring it to completion. (Philip 1:6) Our Savior is for marriage and through Him and only Him will our marriage be a ‘good’ marriage.
How do we walk this out?
Listen, because we are not perfect people, we cannot say exactly how to walk this out to have a beautiful and faithful marriage, but we can speak about things that we have learned along the way.
1. Love the Lord and His commandments more than your spouse- You cannot expect to have a great marriage if you are not following the leading and guiding of the word of the Lord. He tells wives to ‘respect their husbands, and He tells husbands to ‘love their wives as Christ loved the church”. The only way you would know how to do that is by loving, reading, and digesting His word and knowing His truth. Spending time with the God who created marriage is essential to having a beautiful and faithful marriage!
2. Look to the Word as to how the Lord expects YOU to behave as a husband or wife- God is so faithful and knows that left to us we are going to get it wrong 100% of the time. Because of that He put instructions for how the husband is to be a husband and how the wife is to be a wife.
*Disclaimer* husbands are not to read how a wife should treat him and then weaponize the scripture to his wife that “isn’t doing what the bible says” Neither should the wife do that to her husand. The word, again, is a mirror, we need to look at what God tells us individually and aim to please Him by being obedient to what His word is saying to us!
3. Love the spouse YOU have been given, not the spouse you want your spouse to be- Of course, pray for your spouse, and if there are things you see in your spouse that do not align with the Word, pray earnestly for your spouse. However, having a strong desire for your spouse to be perfect when you yourself are not perfect, is a very stressful marriage. Look at your spouse through the lens of Jesus. When you do that, you can see an imperfect human being that is fearfully and wonderfully made, in the image and likeness of our God.
4. Have LOTS of fun TOGETHER!! Marriage is hard. Many of us didn’t realize just how hard it was prior to getting married. Before we got married, we enjoyed one another’s company. We laughed, talked, played, or whatever you did before the rings were exchanged. It is so important to do those things still. Whether you’ve been married for a month or for many, many years, don’t forget to have fun together. It helps you and your spouse to focus on each other and for a brief moment, push aside those real-life responsibilities that you have to give attention to on a daily basis, like… kids, careers, bills. Having fun often together helps break up the mundane day to day and keep things fresh and light from time to time!
5. Keep your eyes off of your neighbor’s marriage. We have all heard the saying that the grass is greener on the other side. I would say that the devil makes it not only look greener, but brighter and bigger too. Every marriage has something that they struggle through. Every marriage has some type of issue that they have to work out. What that marriage has had to go through or will go through, you may not be able to handle. Why? Because the Lord put you in the perfect marriage for you. You can whether the storms that will come about in your marriage. You are who the Lord called to be with exactly who you are with. If God wanted, you with your neighbors spouse you would have been with that person. Please keep your eyes at home, it is really called lust when you don’t do that, and Jesus goes further and calls that adultery. Point number one said to love the commandments of our God, not break them…. Keep Yours Eyes at Home!
So, there you have it, a perfect marriage is not something that we will find here on earth between a man and a woman. It can only be found when we look to Christ and His bride. That is and will be the only ‘perfect’ marriage that we will ever see. Look to Christ to see the beauty in your marriage and have grace for the imperfect people (you and your spouse) that are involved in it!
Be Faithful, Be Free
T & E Young