Training and the Mission of Marriage
Something I just picked up on while doing Discussion Questions for class is that just like we get training for jobs, we should receive training for life, especially marriage. Prior to getting married we should undergo a training period so we know (to a degree) what marriage is about. Too often people jump into marriage without truly discovering what marriage is about especially considering marriage is the combining of two lives into one life:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
Many times people (like myself) go into marriage not fully understanding what marriage, especially a godly marriage, requires of us. Marriage REQUIRES sacrifice, submission, obedience, unconditional love, unconditional respect among other things. However when we think about getting married we don't think about these things, we just think about the fancy wedding & honeymoon. We think about "oh he so fine" about having a man. But then we don't realize what marriage really means.
I am almost sure everyone goes into marriage with expectations, we go into it certain understandings (mutual or not). Yet when these expectations and understandings are not communicated, that's when the arguments arise that make people believe that they're incompatible or that their marriage won't work.
Many arguments and issues can be avoided if people knew what their spouse expected of them beforehand. What GOD expects of them. And honestly some things only come through "on-the-job training." You learn how your spouse likes to communicate through time. You learn that sometimes its best to shut up and let them be than to hound them to talk.
I remember when I first got married, I thought I knew about submission, about obedience, about unconditional love, about sacrifice yet I quickly realized I was unprepared. I was unprepared for what submission really meant. For me it's being willing to be heard yet not force an issue. To set aside my pride in wanting to be in control and be under the mission of succeeding in marriage and as a family together. In marriage we have to realize that each person plays a different but equivalent role.
We have to let go of having the "all about me" attitudes, being lazy, being too headstrong, trying to control your husband. Too often we think we always know better when it's not about knowing better. It's about doing better, it's about knowing how to make a suggestion without issuing a demand. It's about realizing that being "headstrong" is actually one of the curses pronounced over Eve (and thus the rest of us). And thus is a part of flesh that has to be circumcised.
To the woman he said, "I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. (Genesis 3:16)
If you cultivate a submissive and obedient heart towards God prior to marriage then you will be more adept to be submissive and obedient in marriage. Many times we try to rationalize why we shouldn't be submissive or obedient but in all honesty, there is no rationalization.
Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. (Job 22:21)
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:21-22)
And before anyone asks, I address wives because I am a wife. I cannot truly address a man on his role as a husband as I have no experience as such. I address what I live, what I understand.