Marriage with God at the center –
I was thinking about how important it is for us to grow with God recently and He of course challenged my train of thought. We can only control what we do and how we grow and we must continually seek God. However, because we are married, we should always desire to grow in God together with our husbands to have a marriage with God at the center.
We should seek to have a marriage with God at the center.
God helped me understand this by showing me two individual trees. They were both standing tall with a good root system and strong branches. Then He showed me a bigger tree that was made up of two trees growing together and their intertwined trunks made it stronger than the individual trees. This tree was taller and the reach of its branches was longer. The height and longer branches also made it heavier. It had more weight to bear than the individual tree but because of its intertwined trunk it was able to withstand the burden.
The most interesting thing God showed me about the intertwined tree was that the two trees were not just all tangled up with each other. They had grown around a center tree. Its roots were now their roots. I know in my own marriage when we are just focused on ourselves and our marriage (which seems like a good thing) if God is not at the center it quickly turns to chaos. Peace comes when we grow and desire a marriage with God at the center.
Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.
Don’t let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments. These arguments may sound wise, but they are only human teachings. They come from the powers of this world[a] and not from Christ.
God lives fully in Christ. Colossians 2:7-9
I was sharing all of this with my friend, Ailie from P3Alive, and she shared this with me:
There’s an old saying: “Two heads are better than one.” Turns out it’s biblical too.
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
When God created marriage it was birthed out of his desire for Jesus to have a bride. He wanted us to experience the fullness of intimacy that the Triune God share. So he created marriage (man and woman) to be rooted in him (the third part). Without God life and marriage is just that much harder. With God we find ourselves strengthened and two becoming one yet remaining different. Together we have the support we need to face life. We have an ally and someone who can bring out the best in us. Our spouse becomes that iron that sharpens iron. They also become that beautiful resting place when we are weary and need encouragement. Often our spouse is the closest we can get to experience God’s heart in a physical everyday way. Marriage is the full revelation of the relationship between each member of the Trinity. And we get to experience it. WOW!
Focus on the Family has a great post about this and why having a marriage with God at the center is so important:
Most couples do not realize that glorifying God is the deeper meaning of a Biblical marriage. In most marriages, the focus on Jesus is the missing puzzle piece to the abundance God planned. We seek the ways of the world (riches, lust, vanity, self-absorption) to guide us in marriage, while Jesus is waiting for us to seek Him through His Word. Gary Thomas, in his book Sacred Marriage #aff, says, “What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”
A marriage between a husband and wife is not about them, but about God, and how running after Him, and taking the focus off of ourselves, gives us the abundant marriage He wants for us.
What does a marriage focused on Christ offer? It offers us guidance from the Bible, such as insight on how to love one another, how Christ looks at our spouse as a broken sinner just like ourselves, direction on how to live out Scripture, and God’s wisdom and knowledge about how to love each other. The fullness of God’s plan and order works so well because God created it, “and God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).
When we ignore God’s plan, we end up frustrated, trying to control our lives on our own. The focus in our marriage can become a form of, “if you scratch my back I will scratch yours.” It’s like we have an unwritten contract where each spouse maintains a list in the back of their mind, hoping their spouse will perform. Yet this only leads to anger, bitterness and frustration. When expectations are not met, conflict only grows.
God’s plan for us is just the opposite. He wants each of us to forsake our own desires and live for Christ, not ourselves. A biblical marriage is one in which each spouse submits themselves to Christ and seeks after God’s purposes, not their own.
Because we are married, we are one with our husbands. A lot of the struggles in marriage come from trying to act on our own as if what we do does not affect our spouse. We might be two trees (two people) but we share the same roots and what I do absolutely affects my husband. I want to do everything I can to make sure I am rooted in God so that when my husband needs to draw life or support from me, God can help me. If we did not have a marriage with God at the center he would only have me to draw from and would come up empty and still seeking.
I want a marriage with God at the center, rooted in Christ, so that if one of us starts to pull away or life just gets in the way… God will draw us back. The devil doesn’t want my marriage to succeed. If he can drive a wedge between us he knows that bitterness towards each other and eventually God will follow. Trials will come and we will have problems. This is why it is so important that every day we make the choice to put God first and have a marriage with God at the center.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:14-21