[i] to share the good news,[ii]
and to bear lasting fruit.[iii]
As a couple, you might make God known by serving people in your community or serving people overseas. Making Him known may play out in raising godly children or by serving aging parents. You may make Him known by building a business that honors Him in the workplace. Making Him known isn’t an item on an exhaustive to-do list; rather, making Him known plays out in every fiber of your being and flows from the depths of your design. After all, we are human beings
, not human doings.
Making Him known isn’t so much in what we do
but in who we are
. Your gifts make up who you are. And, as a couple, God already designed and innately equipped you with gifts and passions that make you and your spouse uniquely who you are. It’s who you are as a couple and the activities bringing forth life to you
and from you
that point you more clearly toward God’s purpose for your marriage.
As you search to define your marriage purpose, remember to begin where you are and consider some important questions: “How do we (most naturally) make God known right where we are?” How can our distinct passions and purpose first bring life to one another and reveal Christ to our family? How can we (best) make God known in our marriage, to our children, and then to our world?” A second universal truth to living God’s purpose for our marriage and building on firm foundations is to bring God pleasure.
Our Marriage Purpose Will Bring God Pleasure[iv]
In The Practice of the Presence, Brother Lawrence writes, “Our sole occupation in life is to please God.”[v] Wow! Can you imagine how different our world would be if our only ambition as married couples was to bring God pleasure? If our sole occupation was to bring Him delight? Can you imagine how different our lives would be if every activity we engaged in was to bring God joy and cause Him to smile?
In the movie Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell was quoted as saying: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast! And when I run I feel His pleasure.”[vi] When we embrace God’s design for our marriage purpose, it makes God smile, and when we live His purpose together, it brings Him pleasure.
Scripture says, “For from him and through him and to him are all things.”[vii] Our purpose came from God and is upheld through Him. Discovering our marriage purpose and then offering it back to Him is a spiritual act of worship. Our marriage brings God pleasure when we extend our gifts back to Him, for His service, and live according to the purpose He designed for our marriage.
Immersing your combined skills and passions in a pursuit of bringing God pleasure, and tempering your gifts with His unconditional love, helps to secure a strong foundation for your unified marriage purpose.
Our Marriage Purpose Demonstrates Unconditional Love
When we first married, unconditional love seemed like an impossible concept. We both reserved our love, with conditions. Julie struggled with insecurities, stemming from earlier childhood abuse. It took years to unravel her unspoken vows of “I’ll never let another man hurt me” and “I won’t ever feel vulnerable again.” Likewise, Greg conditioned his love with qualifiers of “I won’t be controlled by anyone” and “no one’s going to tell me how to live.” As you might imagine, our unexpressed needs eventually escalated to shouting matches of demanding our rights. Our individual mandates obstructed our ability to express love unconditionally. Yet one of the greatest invitations God extends to married couples is to love as He has loved us.[viii] Marriage especially affords us with the opportunity to practice that command. If we want to build a strong legacy and live the purpose God designed for us as couples, then we need to build upon the foundation of unconditional love. Our demonstration of unconditional love serves as the greatest megaphone possible. God’s unconditional love extends a rare gift in a world filled with conditions.
Take a moment today, to invite God’s thoughts into your relationship and consider the following: How can we make God known? How can our marriage bring Him pleasure, together? And, how can we best demonstrate His unconditional love through our union? If you’d like to unpack the full process of discovering your specific marriage purpose visit GormanLeadership.com.
[i] Matthew 5:16.
[ii] Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47–48.
[iii] John 15:16.
[iv] Revelation 4:11; Colossians 1:16.
[v] Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence (New Kensington, PA: Whitaker House, 1982), 48.
[vi] Eric, Liddell, accessed December 7, 2015, https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/802465.Eric_Liddell.
[vii] Romans 11:36.
[viii] John 13:34; 15:12.