THE FIRST PURPOSE OF MARRIAGE
By Ernest O'Neill
The First Purpose of Marriage
Rev. Ernest O'Neill
A secular marriage, even though it may initially experience something of unselfishness in the courtship time, secular marriage usually deteriorates into a claustrophobic in turned selfish and rather boring experience of trying to make the other into your image. That’s right, trying to make the other person into your own image. And that’s why so often secular marriage ends up in a standoff, because the other person will only become like you up to a certain point and you’ll only become like them up to a certain point and then you go no further. And that’s usually where developed intimacy ceases and it becomes a quite cold war, a life of just desperation, quiet desperation where you stay together for the sake of the children or for the sake of the appearance.
A Christian marriage is based on the plan that God has to create his image in a man and a woman living together and sharing more and more of each other’s qualities, experiencing more and more of each other’s good qualities and each other’s bad qualities because sometimes the other’s bad qualities are planned by God too to conform you to the image of his son. And that’s why in the marriage service we promise to take each other for better or for worse, because sometimes it’s the worst in the other that makes you grab most for the patience and the love of Jesus that transforms your own character. And so Christian marriage is based on the expression of God’s image in a man and a woman being recreated into one person that reflects their good qualities and reflects all the beauty of Jesus and so Christian marriage differs a great deal, as you can see, from secular marriage.