Saturday, April 25, 2009

Contemplations - Marriage (Part II)

While reading "Sacred Marriage" this week, I envisioned coming up with the one "big thought" from my reading and posting it for contemplating on over the weekend. But instead, I found myself madly highlighting this and that and, oh, don't miss this! So, I'll put out there what was a feast of thoughts for me and maybe you'll find one that can be thoughtfully nourishing to you. (All quotes from "Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas.)

Any situation that calls me to confront my selfishness has enormous spiritual value, and I slowly began to understand that the real purpose of marriage may not be happiness as much as it is holiness.


I found there was a tremendous amount of immaturity within me that my marriage directly confronted. The key was that I had to change my view of marriage. If the purpose of marriage was simply to enjoy an infatuation and make me "happpy," then I'd have to get a "new" marriage every two or three years. But if I really wanted to see God transform me from the inside out, I'd need to concentrate on changing myself rather than on changing my spouse. In fact, you might even say, the more difficult my spouse proved to be, the more opportunity I'd have to grow. Just as physical exercise needs to be somewhat strenuous, so "relational exercise" may need to be a bit vigorous to truly stress-test the heart.

* * *

I adopted the attitude that marriage is one of many life situations that help me to draw my sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment from God.

* * *

I guess what I'm after is a quieter fulfillment, a deeper sense of meaning, a fuller understanding of the purpose behind this intense, one-on-one lifelong relationship. As a man who believes his primary meaning comes from his relationship with God, I want to explore how marriage can draw me closer to God.

* * *

Both of us [marriage partners] can find even more meaning by pursuing God together and by recognizing that He is the One who alone can fill the spiritual ache in our souls.

* * *

What both of us crave more than anything else is to be intimately close to the God who made us. If that relationship is right, we won't make such severe demands on our marriage, asking each other, expecting each other, to compensate for spiritual emptiness.

* * *

We need to remind ourselves of the ridiculousness of looking for something from other humans that only God can provide.

* * *

I believe that much of the dissatisfaction we experience in marriage comes from expecting too much from it. I was created with a spirit that craves God. Anything less than God, and I'll feel an ache.

* * *

Just as celibates use abstinence and religious hermits use isolation, so we can use marriage for the same purpose---to grow in our service, obedience, character, pursuit, and love of God.

(All quotes from "Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas)


  1. I would love to read that book. From reading the quotes, it would also be an excellent choice to read BEFORE marriage. I think it might even make a good wedding gift.

    Many of the things you posted could also be applied to life in general and mothering skills, don't you think? Thank you for sharing!

  2. I am reading this book too - talk about convicting!

  3. Thank you
    I must read this book!
    It's difficult to answer your question about wether I enjoy knitting or crochet most, I have always loved knitting and sewing too. Crochet is new and exiting for me now, so at the present moment want to do that rather than knit. I don't know wether I will like it better, I kind of feel that as knitting has always been with me it might remain my favourite.
    I love your post today :o)

  4. Hi Shelley,
    Thanks for those quotes and the insights. I've just ordered the book you mentioned to add to my ever increasing volume of reading. Good stuff! Continue to follow God's lead.Visit us anytime at the following: Live Blessed!