"God's Purpose for Marriage"

I found the brief article below, "God's Purpose for Marriage", in the current "Focus on the Family" bulletin insert. For some strange reason these non-Lutheran brochures find their way into some LCMS congregations (how does that happen?).

Please read the article below asking yourself this question: Does this author explain "God's Purpose for Marriage" in a way that homosexuals would necessarily disagree with it?

I don't necessarily disagree with the content of the article, per se. In fact, it's an excellent message. But if "God's Purpose for Marriage" can be boiled down to "teaching me how to love", why should we wonder when
people argue that homosexuals should be allowed to marry?

If this article had been titled "One of God's Purposes for Marriage," and perhaps even briefly mentioned all the purposes so as not to elevate one above the others, I probably wouldn't have any problem with the content.

It also seems strange that this particular aspect of marriage was singled out on Father's Day. It just doesn't fit. It wasn't Husband's Day we celebrated this Sunday, for Pete's sake. What really made this stick out like a sore thumb was the author's statement that "marriage is about much more than managing... kids ...Those aspects are merely natural outcomes of a much greater purpose..."

Funny, I thought God joined husband and wife as one for the purpose of bringing forth godly offspring. Malachi 2:15 seems to imply that marriage is about much more than "teaching me how to love". In fact, from my
experience, I would describe learning how to love as a potential outcome of the greater purpose of begetting children.

How sad that the rich and beautiful biblical understanding of marriage has been so watered down that I could just as well petition the state for a marriage license for my dog and cat to get married. Strange as it seems, they really do show more love for each other than many couples I know. If that's what marriage is about, why can't they get married?

Anyhow, here is the text of the article in question:

By Mitch Temple
(From the Father's Day bulletin insert from Focus on the Family)

Like a lot of men, I jumped into marriage with the thought that being happy was the ultimate goal. As I look back, many of the struggles my wife, Rhonda, and I encountered in the early years stemmed from my misconceptions about her and about marriage in general. My expectations, tone of voice, requests and responses to her all reflected my selfish heart, which considered my wife as a producer of my happiness.

One day, I listened to a sermon on the high calling of marriage, I became extremely emotional and saw my wife and marriage in a totally different way. I hugged Rhonda and said, "I finally got it about this thing called marriage."

The sermon convicted me with the truth that my marriage is about much more than managing intimacy, conflict, kids and finances. It's about more than simply meeting needs and making one another happy.

Those aspects are merely natural outcomes of a much greater purpose — glorifying God and reflecting His sacred truth to one another and to the world. When we become one in our marriage, we reflect the unity of God to the world. When we are not one, when we do not follow His pattern, it affects our relationship with Him and with each other.

When I began to look at Rhonda through God's eyes, it changed the way I saw her: She was His creation, fearfully and wonderfully made, a precious gift. I no longer looked at her with my own selfish agenda. She was no longer somebody who couldn't meet my expectations; she was an expression of God's love and grace. God had freely forgiven her shortcomings and imperfections, so why couldn't I?

Yes, it's sometimes difficult to maintain this heavenly perspective. Whenever I lose it, I go before the Father. I ask, "Lord, help me to see her again through Your eyes. Help me to treat her the way You treat her."

Then God faithfully reminds me that Rhonda isn't in my life to make me happy, but to teach me how to love.

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