“A man shall leave his father and
mother and be united to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.
This is a profound mystery.” -
Within this Christian vision for marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to his throne. And when we get there, I will look at you and say, ‘I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, now look at you!’ ” Each spouse should see the great thing that Jesus is doing in the life of their mate through the Word, the gospel.
My wife, Kathy, often says that most people, when they are looking for a spouse, are looking for a finished statue when they should be looking for a wonderful block of marble. Not so you can create the kind of person you want, but rather because you see what kind of person Jesus is making. When Michelangelo was asked how he carved his magnificent David, his reply is reputed to have been, “I looked inside the marble and just took away the bits that weren’t David.” When looking for a marriage partner, each must be able to look inside the other and see what God is doing and be excited about being part of the process of liberating the emerging “new you.”
This is by no means a naïve, romanticized approach—rather it is brutally realistic. In this view of marriage, each person says to the other, “I see all your flaws, imperfections, weaknesses, dependencies. But underneath them all I see growing the person God wants you to be.” This is radically different from the search for “compatibility.” As we have seen, researchers have discovered that this term means we are looking for a partner who accepts us just as we are. This is the very opposite of that! The search for an ideal mate is a hopeless quest. This is also a radically different approach from the cynical or cold method of finding a spouse who can just deliver social status, financial security, or great sex.
If you don’t see your mate’s deep flaws and weaknesses and dependencies, you’re not even in the game. But if you don’t get excited about the person your spouse has already grown into and will become, you aren’t tapping in to the power of marriage as spiritual friendship. The goal is to see something absolutely ravishing that God is making of the beloved. You see even now flashes of glory. You want to help your spouse become the person God wants him or her to be.
When two Christians who fully understand this stand before the minister all decked out in their wedding finery, they realize they’re not just playing dress-up. What they’re saying is that someday they are going to be standing not before the minister, but before the Lord. And they will turn to see each other without spot and blemish. And they hope to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servants. Over the years you have lifted one another up to me. You sacrificed for one another. You held one another up with prayer and with thanksgiving. You confronted each other. You rebuked each other. You hugged and you loved each other and continually pushed each other toward me. And now look at you. You’re radiant.”
Tim has written many books on this subject and you will find them on AMAZON.COM