the purpose of marriage.

Marriage | Where my heart resides

In preparing for my bible study last night, I came across this sermon by Tim Keller. If you have time this week, I highly recommend reading through the whole transcript. This was my favorite part, and my personal takeaway:

Jesus comes into our lives, and he does what the theologians call sanctification—the gradual perfection, more and more getting us to die unto sin and live unto righteousness. Jesus comes into your life, and he has a vision for your future glory and your future beauty. He says, “I know what you could be. I was there at your creation. You are just a shadow of what you should be. It is incredible what you are going to be. And through my blood and through my sacrifice and through my service, I am going to get you there.”

Anybody who is a Christian knows that when Jesus comes into your life, through the Word and the Spirit and through circumstances of life, he is constantly driving you to change—pushing you to repent and to change and to leave those things behind and to move forward and become more and more like him.

What does that have to do with marriage? That is the model.

…..To fall in love with somebody in this Christian understanding of marriage is to imagine yourself on the final day, the day of judgment, in which God destroys all death and all evil and suffering, and there is a new heavens and new earth, and everything wrong with you and everything deformed and distorted about you falls off, and you blossom into what you were created to be, and you become everything you are supposed to be. To fall in love with somebody is to imagine yourself being there on that day, and looking at that person and saying, “I always knew you could be like that. I saw it in you. And through marriage I have been part of what God is doing in you.”

To fall in love with somebody is to see what God is doing in that person and become committed to that person’s future self.



I will be the first person to admit that I often take my marriage for granted, and often turn to it to fulfill my personal needs. But this? What a mission. What a calling. What a gift.

God is clear in his design and intention for marriage: it’s my role as Brett’s wife to help him become the person that God intended him to be, and it’s his role as my husband to help me become the person God intended me to be.

We are helpers to one another, and through submission (a word I am learning to love), we become instruments in God’s plan for the ultimate sanctification of each other. How powerful is that?!

Have you learned anything new about marriage recently?

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13 Responses to the purpose of marriage.

  1. Meaghan says:

    What a great sermon! I don’t think I had ever thought of marriage in that way and believe that if I can remember that we’re not just living for today, but for that judgement day, my outlook on my marriage could drastically change for the better. Recently, I have been learning how selfless I need to be in my marriage – it’s not about who’s right or wrong, but more about serving the one you love like they are the only person who matters. I mean, they are the one you chose to spend your whole life with no matter what.

    Thank you for sharing this today!
    Meaghan´s last blog post ..Reminders of Charlotte

  2. Jackie says:

    Wow, I love this. I’m a newlywed and so I still have the puppy dog view of my husband. I don’t think he’s perfect, but it’s definitely easy to overlook his faults, but when it’s put this way, that we’re supposed to see them as the way God intended them to be, that changes it all. It makes marriage so much more Big Picture rather than just the here and now.

    I know these thoughts are totally scattered, but yes. What I mean to say is yes.
    Jackie´s last blog post ..Friday!

  3. My husband and I both figured out pretty quickly that marriage was not what we expected, though I’m not sure what we actually did expect. We’ve been married for two years, and I think I’m just now seeing how selfish I’ve been in marriage. It doesn’t make it any easier to stop being selfish, but at least I realize. Thankfully my husband is very gracious and patient.
    The first book I read after getting married was Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas and I highly recommend it for anyone looking to read about how marriage is meant to make you more like Christ. It’s such a great wake up call for Christian wife.
    kelly summers´s last blog post ..Favorite Things {2012}

    • Ashlee says:

      Oooooh man, our first year of marriage was rough, and it was basically due to my selfishness. I was young and self-consumed and had ridiculous expectations of Brett. I’m not perfect now (far from it), but I’m definitely better than I used to be. I think both of us are becoming less selfish over time, and learning every year to love each other a little bit better.

      Thanks for the book rec! My husband’s favorite marriage book is Every Man’s Marriage (but I read it too and loved it), and my bible study is getting ready to read Tim Keller’s book The Meaning of Marriage.

  4. Love it, Ashlee. “To become committed to that person’s future self.” When life is busy and hard (or even mundane and just seems to keep going), it’s easy to get so caught up in today with all of it’s frustrations, joys, sorrows and, well, stuff, that we forget to look forwards to that for ourselves and for our spouse. To hope forward and see the best. In our vows we promised to look for the best in each other. For God’s best. It’s there and each day we’re stepping towards that day. It’s fun to do together, isn’t it!?
    Stacey Miller´s last blog post ..Lexicon

  5. Becky says:

    I just emailed this link to my husband. Just…wow.

    My husband and I are thinking of renewing our vows this year – not typically when people do that (it’ll be six years in the fall), but we think it might be a really nice thing because we’ve grown so much over the past five years. However, as nice as that is, we truly are renewing our vows and living them EVERY day – by choosing to be with each other, to see each other through sad times, to fight with each other because we care so much about the other we want things to happen for them even if it’s hard. What a gift indeed.
    Becky´s last blog post ..Waiting for Daisy

  6. Cara says:

    Oh Ashlee, I love this post so much! I’ve been thinking about this topic quite a bit over the past couple of days as a couple of marriages in my life are crumbling. In each marriage, the couples didn’t embrace change in the other person. It’s heart breaking to witness but a great reminder that you have to commit wholeheartedly to your partner today as well as commit to who your partner will grow into being.
    Cara´s last blog post ..Stocking Up For The Holidays

  7. Meg says:

    what a wonderful sermon! tim keller really says it spot on! there is always something new i am learning about marriage even after 2.5 years of marriage. in fact i don’t think i will ever stop learning about marriage even if we are married for 50+ years
    Meg´s last blog post ..How to Master Your Kitchen

  8. Michelle says:

    I am not married yet but this is very powerful. I have been putting relationships into perspective as of late and this definitely enlightens me! Thank you for sharing. Stay blessed.
    Michelle´s last blog post ..This Is When I Cry

  9. Kathleen says:

    Once someone told me that if you want to DO a lot for Christ, stay single. But if you want to learn to BE more like Christ, get married. I don’t know if it’s totally true, but the one thing that marriage constantly teaches me is that I have to be selfless. Nothing like becoming one with another person for that.
    Kathleen´s last blog post ..Mother-Daughter Friendship Bracelets

  10. Kiki says:

    You speak so much truth and encouragement! Even though I’m single, I definitely find myself taking marriage for granted. And while I’m not talking from experience, from what I’ve heard/seen, it’s a lot of work. But good work, especially when it’s God-centered.

    I cannot wait to (hopefully) someday embark on this adventure in life. And I hope to re-read this post when that day comes because it’s definitely worth a second read. 🙂
    Kiki´s last blog post ..janugram.

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