What Did We Get Married For Anyway?
By: Kathy
April 22, 2012

Marriage vows make me chuckle.  We get all dressed up and arrange all the pomp and circumstance to publicly profess our vows to one another.  In reality, however, nobody has any idea what they are really signing up for that day.  Eventually, we all shake our heads and wonder, at least for a minute, ‘What in the world did I get married for anyway?!’

We all got married because it felt good.  That feeling of love and connection, that companionship with someone who really knows us, the feelings of being wanted by one special person; it all drives us to tie the matrimonial knot, linking us to that person, and those ‘love feelings’, for a lifetime.  The purpose of marriage isn’t to make us feel good; instead, it is to help us become a better person!

Marriage is meant to make us grow!  Marriage is designed to stretch and push us into becoming the best person we can be.  If we are only intent on feeling good, however, we will never grow as we are designed because growth does not feel good.  Marriage teaches us to get outside of our own selfish worlds and learn humility, strength, generosity, acceptance, compassion, sacrifice, and forgiveness.  Basically, marriage teaches us how to love more fully; in essence, to love like God loves.

Sharing our lives with someone, it is hard to hide who we really are.  Our spouse begins to see not only the best behavior (that we let them see when we were courting), but also the worst behavior.  As that whole self (good and bad) begins to emerge, it is the spouse’s job to delicately hold up the mirror and help us to see the areas where we need improvement.  It is their job to show us what we cannot see about ourselves.  It is then our job to work to improve ourselves and become the person we were meant to be.

Marriage, then, can help build our character – if we will let it!  Unfortunately most of us fight this process and attack our spouse for not making us ‘feel good’!  It is painful to have someone point out our flaws.  It is even MORE painful to have the person we want so desperately to love us point out our flaws!  But far too many people want out as soon as they start feeling that pain and they go seek the ‘love feelings’ with someone else.  Problem is – then we don’t grow!  We just start the process over with someone else.

Those ‘love feelings’ sure seem like they could give us the greatest joy on this earth, but they are fickle.  They don’t last.  They tease us into believing they can provide us lasting joy, but what they really do is trick us into getting married so that we can go through the painful process of learning how to have real, true, lasting joy.  And that is through learning how to fully love another person with humility, strength, generosity, acceptance, compassion, sacrifice, and forgiveness.

By learning how to give these things to others, we open ourselves up to being loved more fully and that is how God intended us to feel loved in marriage – by giving, not by receiving.  And that is what we all got married for anyway, we just didn’t know it at the time!  What has your spouse been trying to show you lately?