We all have dreams for our marriages. Most of us dream of having a long, fulfilling, and happy marriage. Nobody who’s about to get married thinks, “I hope this marriage doesn’t work out very well!”
So, if we all start out dreaming about having a good marriage, then why do our dreams so often end in nightmares?
But God has a dream for your marriage, too.
You see, God is the creator of marriage – and He alone has the blueprint that explains how it’s supposed to work. And He alone actually planted the desire for a good marriage in our hearts!
He tells us what His dream for our marriages is in Genesis chapter 1. God said,
“Let us make man in our image. According to our likeness.”
Then, God tells us one of the primary purposes of marriage:
The Lord said, “It’s not good for the man to be alone. I will make him a helper suitable for him.” (Genesis 1:18)
By doing this, God did something that would meet the deepest needs of man and, correspondingly, meet the deepest needs of woman.
And, by the way, that word “helper” is not a low word. It’s not derogatory or second-class. This same word means a “corresponding part.” This Hebrew word is in the Psalms, describing God as being the helper, or rescuer, of his people.
Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:22-24)
God’s desire for us could be summed up in a word: Oneness. His dream and design for you and for me is we would be one. One in body. One in soul. One in spirit.
So, what’s God’s game plan, or the process for experiencing this?
The route to oneness is not out there somewhere. The route to oneness first starts with you. And the greatest thing you’ll ever do in your marriage is walk with God.
Because as we grow closer to God, we grow closer to each other.
The second part of God’s blueprint involves you and your spouse.
First, our response to our parents should be independence. There has to be an emotional and financial detachment from our parents. We’re to leave our father and mother.
Then, after we emotionally and financially leave our parents, we are supposed to cleave – or bond – to one another. This bond should happen at a deep level, physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
This means our souls are connected. As a result, we respond to our spouse in allegiance and loyalty to them first. Not to the kids, not to the job, and not to our parents.
When we cleave, it means decisions are made together. Each person doesn’t do their own thing. It also means giving up some selfishness and wanting our own way. No longer is it “my” time and “my” opinions.
And guess what? This process of leaving and cleaving and then breaking, bonding, and blending – becoming one flesh – will last for the rest of our life. And the rewards of this kind of intimacy are worth it!
To learn more about God’s design for marriage, check out Chip’s series, Experiencing God’s Dream for Your Marriage.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip