What does it mean when you stand before your friends and family and get married? What is the purpose of a marriage? In my experience, most couples don’t have a good answer to this very basic question.
That’s a shame. How can you succeed at something if you don’t know its purpose? It is vitally important for couples to understand not just what the two of them are trying to accomplish but also what God is trying to accomplish in marriage.
I believe three crucial things happen when you get married. These core elements are part of the purpose of marriage.
You unify financially. When two individuals get married, they transform into a single financial unit. Before marriage, they paid separate taxes and owned separate property. But in marriage, the state sees them, financially speaking, as one.
Marriage is the greatest wealth-producing entity on earth people who get married tend to be more financially stable than singles but you have to do marriage right.
What does that mean? It means keeping your priorities in line. It’s easy to focus too much on protecting your financial core and dedicating too much time and energy to work. This can produce stress. It can impact your health. It can compete with time spent with family. Don’t sacrifice your marriage or your health for money.
You become next of kin. Upon getting married, you should become closer to your spouse than you were to your parents. The Bible says a man shall leave his father and mother in marriage. This means you reprioritize them. A man and woman who join in marriage become closer than any family they’ve ever had.
As next of kin, you become responsible for meeting each other’s most important needs. You are accountable for each other until you die. After God created Eve from Adam’s rib, Adam woke from his sleep, looked at Eve, and said “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23).
Your spouse is more family than any family member you’ve ever had.
You become sexually exclusive. Sex is the only exclusive area of marriage. Have you ever thought of that? When married, you still talk with other people. You spend money with other people. You work with others, worship with others, and even pray with others. But you don’t have sex with others.
Sexual faithfulness is essential to a good marriage. Not only do you promise to be faithful, but also to fulfill each other’s sexual needs. In 1 Corinthians 7:4, Paul writes that husbands and wives do not have authority over their own bodies. Instead, their spouses have that authority.
This is not a license for abuse, but for use. It means no using your body as a weapon and no withholding sex to punish your spouse.
One final point: When the devil attacks marriages, he tends to attack one of these three crucial areas. Most divorces happen because of issues related to money, family and sex. When one of these suffers, the entire marriage suffers.
So get your finances in order and talk about money with your spouse. Make sure you prioritize your spouse. Be faithful and meet each other’s sexual needs. Protecting these core elements is central to protecting your marriage.