Is marriage dying or thriving?
Cameron Diaz several years ago commented, “marriage is a dying institution” and, “I think we have to make our own rules. I don’t think we should live our lives in relationships based off of old traditions that don’t suit our world any longer.” — Maxim, June 2011
What Ms. Diaz fails to realize or acknowledge is America, as a society, is dying. Marriage isn’t going away just because people live in a lawless society. Biblical marriage will always be relevant this side of eternity. The entire storyline of the Bible is about Jesus and His people, married, together, forever. Of course marriage is under attack from every angle. Satan doesn’t want people living out the abundant life in marriage and family; it’s the very reflection of God.
Outside the Church, the institution of marriage may be rejected and rightly so. Marriage makes no sense in a selfish, instant gratification, “me first”, godless culture.
What’s the answer? Where do we begin? It all starts with the Church. The Church must begin to actually shine like the city on a hill and raise the standard. Living the Sermon on the Mount needs to become commonplace. Integrity, humility and the character of Jesus must radiate from within. Developing a posture of forgiveness, understanding covenant and realizing Jesus meant it when He said, “take up your cross and follow me.” Marriage at times might feel like a cross, so rise up and die on it.
Men, the commitment is real. Marriage is for life. Chapter 5 in Ephesians lays it out. Your role in marriage is to lay your life down for your wife, as Jesus did for the Church. It’s the man’s job (as much as it depends on him) to demonstrate Christ to his bride. Prayer, humility and forgiveness need to be three tools in your tool belt at all times. Love her unconditionally, consistent moment by moment with everything you’ve got. Take care of her as if she were you… because she is.
Women, your husband will never stack up to Jesus, as hard as he might try… or not, for that matter. Pray for him. Forgive him. Stick with him. Believe in the Holy Spirit inside him (if he’s not saved, make that prayer point #1). Discover what it looks like to be a woman of God. Thank the Lord for the good things taking place in life. Paul highlights the importance of respect in the relationship. Develop as they say, “an attitude of gratitude.”
Jesus and Paul have much to say about the marriage covenant. Hopefully, the Church will continue to mine the depths of love found in Christ and the great purposes of marriage.
He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord.
– Proverbs 18:22
Oh yeah! Apparently the institution of marriage isn’t dead in the secular realm either. Ms. Cameron Diaz is now a “Mrs.” as of January 2015. Pray for her, her marriage and that the Lord touch her life in a powerful, profound way with His love and truth. May the Lord make her a mouthpiece for Biblical Marriage, capturing His heart regarding the importance of the covenant and a life-long commitment.