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Lessons in Love

I don’t write or speak a lot about love and marriage because I’m no expert on the subject. I’ve been married for six years and still feel like such a newbie. Taking advice can be difficult for me, but when it comes to marriage (and parenting) I’m all for it. Bring on the advice.

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Card by Erin Nausin

This month I’m gonna do something different and talk more about love and marriage. I want to share some of the lessons God has been teaching me over the last 6 years, as well as the advice and resources that have helped us to thrive.

Today I want to share about a book I recently read called “Loveology” by John Mark Comer. This book boldly addresses topics including marriage, sexuality, romance and gender roles from a biblical perspective.

In the chapter “What’s the Point” Comer points out that “many of us have a decent idea what marriage is but are confused at best, if not clueless, as to what marriage is for.” Um yes – I often feel totally clueless! And in order to understand what marriage is for, Comer reminds us to look back to the beginning – to Genesis. He points out that after God created Adam, He didn’t declare “it is good” as He had on the previous 5 days of creation. Rather He says, “it is not good for man to be alone” and so He creates “a helpmate” for Adam, someone to partner with him in the missions God called him to.

Comer uses this story to pull out the simple truth that marriage isn’t just about marriage.What I mean by that is it’s not just about my husband and I pouring into one another, it’s about partnering together for a greater purpose. It wasn’t good for Adam to be alone because He was made for relationship and he had a huge job to do (looking after the whole earth!).

This simple truth changes everything. When I think about my marriage, I usually weigh how we’re doing based on how our relationship is doing. Are we connecting? Are we laughing together? Are we having real conversations? But rarely do I ask questions like, Are we working together to build the kingdom? Are we helping one another accomplish the tasks God has given us to do?

Instead of focusing primarily on growing our relationship and pouring into one another, part of the purpose of marriage is to partner together to usher in the kingdom of God, on earth as it is in heaven. So there may be times (like right now) when we aren’t as inwardly focused, but rather outwardly focused. This doesn’t mean our marriage is failing – in fact it’s quite the opposite. We are working together to live in intimate obedience to The Father – and that is a great success.

So even though you may be in a season of pouring into your children, your ministry, your work more than having meaningful conversations every evening, and date night twice a week, it doesn’t mean your marriage isn’t thriving.  Yes connection is important, but this inward focus needs to be partnered with an outward action. We’re called to help each other do what the Lord has called and created us to do.

Have you ever thought of this before? Do you agree that a marriage needs to be both inwardly and outwardly focused? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

 

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