Friday, October 23, 2009

The Purpose of Marriage

A lot of the difficulties in marriage stem from a misunderstanding of what marriage is for, or why we have it. Divorce in particular is often predicated on this.

Marriage is not primarily a social arrangement or something you do because you need someone. That just leads to unhealthy relationships and codependence.

It is for emotional fulfillment, sexual fulfillment, self-fulfillment or fulfilling you in any way. It can be good, even great at these things - but that is not what it is for, not primarily.

It is like our mouths. They are meant for talking and eating. Tasting delicious food is a strictly secondary purpose. It is a nice benefit, but when push comes to shove, we can eat food that tastes terrible and still have a good functional mouth and healthy life. Putting flavor first is not doing the waistlines of this country any good, nor for that matter, our finer sense of taste.

Like an unhealthy priority on flavor over food, an overemphasis on can lead to unhealthy marriage.

Marriage is PRIMARILY a way for us to serve, and to express love. To both serve and love God and spouse. That love comes via service, and not self-fulfillment.

It sounds a bit austere and unromantic, it is important to have first things first.


  1. Zen

    Good stuff.

    I totally agree with you. Yet I would go further and pose that marriage is for having children. It gives the couple a chance to grow through service to their children. If they can't have any then there are ways to learn to serve together elsewhere, it is true.

    I enjoy the posts you present.

  2. Doug, 9 times 10, that is exactly right, if not more often. The gospel is about service, and serving our families. And without marriage certain unique kinds of service will be denied us, because they are only possible between a husband and wife. Heavenly Father seems to be very particular about that.

    I say 9 out of 10, because invariably someone will mention childless couples.

  3. i love the fresh spin on an old debate.

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