I’ve heard it said that the main purpose of marriage is to drive us closer to Christ. And although that sounds like an epic and beautiful sentiment, I don’t see how I can get any closer to Christ than His presence inside me. Also, what about the people not married yet, or the ones that never marry? With this application that would mean they don’t get driven closer to Christ? No, that can’t be right.
Ok, there is some truth there: Marriage does maximize pressure on people because they live in close proximity to each other, day in day out. This pressure in life pushes sin to the surface and in turn, our actions affect those closest to us, but that’s far from being the grand purpose or design of marriage. Having teenage kids or a difficult roommate, or any number of stressors in life can drive you to seek Christ.
In order to find the main purpose of marriage, we have to be transported beyond our own circumstances into the bigger grander picture. If we allow this to happen, we quickly learn that it’s not about us at all, but about God and what my marriage says about Him?
There are many positive results and benefits of marriage but the singular reason is that marriage is the demonstration in the natural world of the supernatural unity that Paul calls the mystery of Christ and His church. The more a marriage mirrors this unity the more it fulfills its grand purpose. And only then does it become truly beautiful.
The more I indulge in entitlement at the cost of my spouse, the less I represent God’s unity, making my marriage useless because it’s not fulfilling its intended purpose.