marriage, life purpose, meaning, significance in relationships

Is Marriage a Mission Impossible?

Could ten women be wrong? A book I read recently featured nine counselees and their therapist, who took turns sharing their life stories. Though it was fiction, my takeaway point was… their view of marriage was scary! Not one woman in ten held the God-ordained institution in very high esteem. You would think the Creator had designed it to make us miserable. Oh yes, sex was high on the list of Life’s Good Gifts, and even love and romance and family. But marriage… ho-hum.

I REALLY am tired of hearing people bash marriage. Of course, it’s a complex topic, and I don’t pretend to proclaim myself an expert on the subject. But what if God didn’t plan marriage just to make us happy? Or just to make me happy, or my husband?

What if His purpose is more about making us useful and good? What if it’s as much about service as love? What if His intention was to give us significant work in this world? What if marriage was designed to bring God glory, not to bring us to the pinnacle of bliss?

Could we think of it as sort of a ministry assignment to another person? Your marriage can be a mission–to bless your husband, to encourage your family and friends, and to transform you.

Before you click out of here in frustration at my radical idealism, let me guarantee you’ll get tired, angry, and annoyed sometimes. But please, unless your husband uses you as a punching bag, let God use your marriage to give each other mutual joy and to inspire joy in others. It wouldn’t hurt once in a while to review those wedding vows and take them as a calling from God–a mission statement of sorts, especially if you wrote them yourself, as I did.

“Happiness is not the purpose of living. It’s a by-product of living for others.” –Diana Delacruz

My grand ambitions at 20 weren’t the same as they are at 60, I grant you, but there’s still plenty of meaty meaning. The “happily ever after” comes from living usefully after the honeymoon. If “use” sounds like “abuse” these days, that’s not what I mean. I’m thinking more of teamwork. The joy springs from working together on a project, because “we make it our aim…to be well pleasing to God” (2 Cor. 5:9)

As my husband and I celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this year, I certainly don’t consider it 40 years in the wilderness–or a 40-year prison sentence. It’s a mission, and it’s a MISSION POSSIBLE. Instead of empty and disillusioned at the end of my love story, my goal is the satisfaction of a job well done.

I’m a woman on a mission.


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