What is marriage? Reflections of 25 years

I have a couple of personal events taking precedent in my life this week, so rather than just shutting down the blog for a few days, please indulge me with this opportunity to share what I’m learning through these events. I think you’ll find them relevant to the mission of Etchea.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the purpose of marriage. There is so much going on in the news these days that precipitate questions. Since this is the day that marks 25 years of my marriage with Stefanie, allow me to run through these thoughts.

The purpose of marriage isn’t completely clear in the Bible. In Genesis we see that the first marriage was about companionship. It’s also about procreation. Later, in the Old Testament, we see marriages made as financial arrangements and for marking business and political partnerships. In the New Testament we see marriage as a symbol of the covenant between God and his people.

Of course, many today would think marriage is about personal fulfillment. I don’t see a lot in scripture to back that up, but we are inclined to think that marriage is about achieving a status in this world, thus proving our adulthood, our acceptance, and our character.

Whether fulfillment is a proper purpose for marriage or not, in 25-years I can say that I have found my marriage with Stefanie fulfilling. I believe that is because of the grace of God. By all normal measures our marriage had no more chance to succeed than any others, and I know many do not succeed.

Now, if marriage is about procreation and developing a family, I’m thankful because my wife has given and raised two wonderful daughters. Moriah and Elie are another fruit of God’s work, and a joy made possible because of Stefanie.

If marriage is about companionship, Stefanie is a wonderful companion. Creative and willing to listen, even to a man who talks too much.

If marriage is about partnership and sharing of life’s burden, then I can tell you that my wife has done that well. Even now, she carries much of the financial burden of this family, trusting that God will make something out of Etchea.

If marriage is about the symbol of God and his church, I am blessed because my wife is faithful- more faithful than I deserve sometimes. She’s more faithful than any church I have known. That’s good, because I am much less capable of unconditional love than God.

Thank you, Stefanie, for 25-years of marriage. Thank you, God, for Stefanie.

Note: If you’re reading this and feeling like your marriage isn’t always rosy, don’t worry. Our marriage isn’t either. Marriage takes work and care. Etchea is available to help coach you in your marriage.

One thought on “What is marriage? Reflections of 25 years

  1. Bette Jo Smith

    Nice read. Thanks for sharing and for the honor you gave to your wife. She deserves it!

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