Just the Two of Us?
By Leslie Barner
Most couples go into marriage thinking they alone will shape their marriage relationship—that from the wedding day forward, their marriage experience will be influenced solely by the two of them.
But is it really just the two of us?
The truth is, every couple enters the marriage relationship with an idea of how marriage should work. They’re influenced by many factors—the culture, entertainment, the media, faith, and more. Some couples may be influenced by a previous marriage. But more than anything, couples are influenced by their models of marriage growing up.
I realized this truth during a conversation with our daughter Tiffany who was engaged and had come over to discuss her wedding plans. She let out a long sigh of exasperation and said, “Well I may not know much about planning a wedding, but I certainly know how to be a good wife, because I learned that from you, Mom.”
Her words moved me to tears. I never really thought about how much our four daughters were learning about marriage from Aubrey and me over the years, and how influential our marriage would be in their lives.
Whether the marriages modeled for the two of you were good or not so good, because they were modeled by imperfect people, not one of those models was perfect. The good news is, there is a marriage model that is perfect—Christ’s relationship with His bride, the church.
This is the model that God intends for us to reflect: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1-2).
Let this be your ultimate marriage model. If you’re willing, it could influence you in ways that will help you build a marriage that is healthy, strong, loving, and lasting.
Remember, others are watching you, including the next generation. What will your marriage model for them?
The good stuff: Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Action point: Write down a list of things others probably see when observing your marriage. Assess how you would like the Lord to shape your marriage model.
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