The ultimate question in the minds of anyone who is married is, will it last? What will our legacy be?
The real question is, who will make our marriage last? Before we consider the answer, there are two dangerous myths that can derail our marriage if we are not wary:
1. The basis of marriage is love or romance.
2. Making it through the trials of marriage are up to us alone.
If marriage is only based on love or romance, then what happens if love grows cold? We say that we're not in love anymore. And if it is all up to us, then it's easy to conclude that if one of us fails, the relationship is broken. Both views are based on humanistic underpinnings without roots in the Word of God. But when God is our focus, and his design for marriage central in our hearts and minds, when we fall, we do not fail. This expectation is foolproof because God does not renege on his promises!
The reason being is that our mutual commitment is not based on love, but on a covenant of companionship. The background for this, found in Genesis 2 and Mark 10.
As alluded in our book, "The Music of Marriage," we answer the question by way of a musical analogy. If you've ever watched an orchestra perform you know that while the musicians are performing, the entire performance is directed by the maestro. Translated, the music of your marriage, as it were, is masterfully written and composed by God, and we who have taken our vows before him are privileged to be his performers.
The magnificence of marriage is that we have the ultimate composer who wrote the perfect score, directing us throughout the entire performance. Our author also provides the tempo and rhythms that guide us through the desired ups and challenging downs. These rhythms, along with discordant chords in the music push us to resolve the dissonance; likewise, the marriage commitment pushes us to resolve conflicts, returning us to the central theme of the song.
When God does his part and we do ours .
The score God wrote for marriage has a way of pushing us toward Sovereign dependency. God's purpose is to support the music where the beat goes on to the lasting fulfillment of marriage. We are not the author and composer of marriage—nor are we the director of the orchestra—we are the orchestra. Our only job is to do our part and to allow the "Maestro" to do his. Once we say "I do," we are no longer auditioning for the part; we are on stage as performers awaiting every cue by the Maestro. Understanding the distinct role relationship between husband, wife, and God is critical for a realistic view of marriage. The reason being is that our focus is on God and his directives to fulfill my responsibility to my spouse, rather than on my spouse and her responsibility to me.
Certainty comes from faith grounded in continuity.
So our confidence is grounded not in our abilities, or in our understanding the needs of our spouse, but in the certainty of the work of God which cannot be diminished by time or circumstance, nor its permanence easily dismissed.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope. Romans 15:4
It's in the context of a certain future that the marital relationship provides the fertile soil for three critical dynamics:
1. Aligning expectations—because we both are playing our parts from the same composition, we know the score, and we are in perfect harmony.
2. Mutual understanding—because we both have supporting roles to fulfill.
3. Sacrificial love—because the music will never move anyone if it is played without the dynamics and passion observed one when lays down their life for their closest companion.
Bob and Evy Smith
Authors of The Music of Marriage