The Perfect Vision of Marriage
- Barry R. Leventhal, Ph.D. <i>Two Becoming One</i>
- 2007 6 Jun
What is the Perfect Vision?
What would you consider the perfect vision of a Christian marriage? Would it be a husband and wife that communicate with the tongues of angels? Would it include an ecstatic romantic interlude that lasts for about a month? How about a financial windfall that not only covers all of your debts, but also launches you out onto a three-month worldwide vacation? Maybe your perfect vision of a Christian marriage embraces a new and perfect set of in-laws. You can probably fill in the rest, can't you?
Many of us really believe that a perfect Christian marriage is the direct result of a new marriage seminar or neat set of marital principles that will finally transform our marriage-of course, by transforming our mates. Maybe it's the latest book or set of tapes on "How to Have A Successful Marriage."
Don't get me wrong. We at Christian Family Life have spent the last thirty-two years working on and trying to perfect the best principles on Christian marriage that we can find in the Bible. We are totally committed to God's basic principles for marriage and family.
But that does not mean that we believe that if you perfectly apply all of our CFL materials to your marriage, then you will have the perfect marriage. That would be like saying that if you applied all of the basic surgical skills in open-heart surgery, every heart patient would successfully survive the operation. But a successful marriage, like a successful open-heart surgery, requires a vision that is larger than itself, a vision that transcends its earthly limitations, confusion, and setbacks.
One Who Captured The Perfect Vision
Maybe C. S. Lewis, in his book Mere Christianity, got it right after all when he said:
The Christian says, "Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthly pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly treasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. If that is so, I must take care, on the one hand, never to despise, or be unthankful for, these earthly blessings, and on the other, never to mistake them for the something else of which they are only a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage. I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same."
So that's what it's really all about. You see, the perfect vision of a Christian marriage, even at its best, is still just "a kind of copy, or echo, or mirage" of something so much greater than itself. Even if you could perfectly apply our Christian Family Life principles in your marriage (and we hope and pray that you will), there would still be something lacking. For our Triune God and His heavenly country, our true Christian home, still await us in the future.
If we lose sight of this ultimate and final Christian vision, we will pile a burden upon our mates that they will never be able to sustain: the burden of making us happy like good Christian husbands and wives are suppose to. We will consign ourselves to a life of disappointments and regrets. For when we place unreal expectations on our mates, expectations that only God Himself can meet in our lives, our marriages are doomed to misery and failure.
But, on the other hand, when we make God and His heavenly country our ultimate and perfect vision for our marriage, He will set us free to love and serve Him as well as our mates. That is the only kind of perfect vision that can sustain, nurture, and fulfill our marriages. For God alone is the Perfect One and His heavenly kingdom is our only perfect home. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb awaits us in the future. Will you and your mate wait for it? "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8).
The Perfect Vision and Your Marriage
In light of God's perfect vision for your marriage, prayerfully consider the following questions:
1. What kind of perfect vision of your marriage have you and your mate carried in the past?
2. In light of this past imperfect vision of your marriage, what kind of unreal expectations have you placed upon your mate? Why not ask God to forgive you for looking to your mate instead of Him for all of your needs. Don't you think it might be good to also ask your mate to forgive you?
3. When was the last time that you and your mate thanked God for His perfect vision for your marriage: a vision of Himself and His heavenly country? Why not take a few minutes and do it right now.
Posted June 9, 2007
© 2003 Christian Family Life
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