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One of the first things I ask engaged couples is, "Why do you want to get married?" The answers are largely what you'd expect: He makes me laugh. She is so encouraging. We’re best friends and we love being together.Couples go so far as to say that they believe that God brought them together. After listening to their stories, we will often return to this question of “Why?” I may say something like, “If God brought you two together, might God have a larger purpose in mind than your mutual happiness? Is it possible that God might have a mission in mind for you as a couple? Could God be hoping to accomplish something through you as a couple that you might never be able to do as single people?"
Jesus, of course, went even further with mission-mindedness. He challenged people to consider a celibate life (Matthew 19:12) so that they might be singly devoted to God’s kingdom and building up their spiritual families. And while Jesus is surely right that single people often have greater flexibility and availability for that mission, it is also true that married couples can and should grow more devoted to that same mission.
In all the years that I’ve engaged in counseling engaged couples, I’ve only heard one couple share that they wanted to marry because they would be better equipped to serve God as a couple than as singles. How might the rest of us grow toward a similar vision for life?
Karen & Keith Miller have a wonderful article in Marriage Partnership magazine that I give to the couples I counsel, a piece they called, Beyond Happily Ever After. In it, they describe their own journey of discovering and developing a marriage mission, one that they were able to write down as a mission statement.
I encourage you to read the full article so you can see how their understanding of their mutual mission grew clearer over time. But the important thing is to get the process started -- a process of praying, dreaming, conversing, and then writing it down. Here are the questions they suggest for starting that process:
Who knows -- maybe God did bring you together for a purpose, and maybe that purpose is bigger and brighter than you’d imagined! I hope that you be encouraged to start engaging God, your spouse, and maybe even your children to discover a deeper fulfillment in following Christ together!