Why I’m Getting Married
Recently, I’ve been compelled to make a list.
Over the past few months there has been a lot of conversation (though I use that word loosely) about the issue of gay marriage, and in that same time frame I announced that I would be getting married to my fiance’ Antonia. I found this timing intriguing. Never before had I thought so much about why I was going to get married. I knew it was what I desired, but I had never completely uncovered all the layers as to why. On the news people spoke about marriage as a pathway that ‘legalizes love’, ‘gives benefits to everyone’, or ‘adheres everyone’s rights’, but to me that sounded off.
My understanding of marriage was contrary to all those things – this term marriage includes my own. So many questions filled my mind: ‘Why am I getting married?’; ‘Is it really about all those things?’; ‘Why was marriage created in the first place?’ I felt so inexperienced and these questions seemed overbearing. So, to help myself process these ideas I decided I would make the following list:
I am NOT getting married for: my intrinsic rights; tax breaks; joint bank accounts; insurance or inheritance benefits; intimacy; sex; having children; living with another person; wedding gifts/money; the ceremony/wedding day; legalized love; the honeymoon; a ring; the pride of being married; companionship; conversations; adventures; dates; hugs; kisses; holding hands; feelings; or emotions.
I am getting married for: the ability to glorify God through the picture He intended to best mirror His love toward His Church. That my love for my future wife (Antonia) would mirror – in the best way possible – His love for the Church and that her love for me would best mirror the Church’s love and submission toward the LORD. The reason that Antonia and I are getting married is so that through our marriage we might help the world better see Christ and understand the depths of His love.
Yes, there are other benefits to being married, but that is not what marriage is all about. That is not why I am getting married. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t desire many of the things on the first half of my list, but marriage is much deeper than we have defined it. We have defined marriage by what we get from it, but marriage has always been about what we give. Marriage, at it’s core, reflects, the sacrifice of Christ Jesus for the Church, as we love another through its union. The mystery of marriage has never been about us, but has always been, rather, about the depths of the love Christ expressed through Him giving up His life that we might live. As we love each other though marriage – and through all that comes along with it – we are bearing the image of the cross and the Church’s dependance on the LORD in light of it.
“Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:22-32)