Marriage is a wonderful thing, but so many single men and women have wrong ideas about it. Having a wrong view of marriage guarantees a lot of heartaches and frustrations, not to mention times when you might feel like you were wrong to marry your spouse. This is not what God wants us all to feel and think.
God instituted marriage and made it beautiful. He designed man to love and desire his wife, and the woman to be the one who will provide satisfying and enjoyable companionship to her husband (see Genesis 2:21-24). God meant the husband and the wife to be united with one heart and mind; be totally devoted to each other, forsaking other possible romantic relationships and desires; and that they'd be open and honest with one another (see Genesis 2:24-25).
However, the enemy enjoys destroying marriages (see Genesis 3; John 10:10a). He injects wrong thoughts and ideas into the minds of people through various means: movies, TV shows, novels, books, and music. These romantic-but-wrong ideas fuel wrong expectations and plans.
Here are some common wrong ideas singles, and some married couples as well, have regarding marriage.
1. Getting Married 'Completes' You
First of all, this is just plain wrong. People who think that they'll be "complete" when they find their "better half" will realise that the person they marry can never complete them. No matter what we do, unless we find ourselves in the Lord God, we will never be complete and happy. Only God completes us.
Consider what God said in Isaiah 55:2,
"Why do you spend money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance."
We must realise that our spouses will only complement us or be suitable for us (see Genesis 2:18), according to God's design. Our spouses will never be the one who completes us.
2. If I'm Married, My Purity Won't Be Challenged
This is an outright lie. If this is true, then there wouldn't be problems with adultery, concubinage, and extramarital affairs.
Consider King David who, despite being rich and having many wives including King Saul's daughter Michal (see 2 Samuel 5:13; 1 Samuel 18:20-28), still fell for Bathsheba as she was taking a bath (see 2 Samuel 11). David was "a man after God's own heart," and yet he fell for sexual lust.
Don't put yourself in a vulnerable position. Realise that the enemy will try to challenge your purity even as a married person.
3. Marriages Succeed Effortlessly
This is another lie. If marriage didn't require both the husband and the wife to put some effort into protecting each other and loving one another, then Paul wouldn't tell us to love our spouses in Ephesians 5:21-33.
Husbands are told to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and boy is that ever difficult. Wives are told to submit to their husbands like the church submits to Christ, and again that is very hard to do (especially if the husband isn't Christ-like). Marriages do require effort – lots of it.
The Key to a Happy Marriage
So with all these, what should we think about marriage? We should think of it as a way to love God, by being loving and faithful to our spouses. Let's be like Christ who laid down His life for His bride, the church.