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The Vision and Mission of Marriage Today… and for Future Generations

  • Crawford Loritts
The Vision and Mission of Marriage Today… and for Future Generations

May 22, 1971 stands as the happiest day of my life. Why wouldn’t it be? After all, I said “I do” to the love of my life, and our hearts were filled with hope, dreams, and the anticipation of a wonderful future and life together. But I was also sobered by this incredible sense of responsibility. As I glanced at my parents sitting on the front row, my heart was filled with gratitude to God for the example and model of love and commitment to their marriage and to each other. I remember thinking, “Oh God, help Karen and me to have the same thing.” Then after the ceremony, Pop whispered in my ear, “C. W., remember, you asked to marry Karen. Whatever it takes, you make sure you take care of her in every way.” I must admit that my dad put the fear of God in me. But that wasn’t his intention. He was reminding me that next to my relationship with Christ, I had just made the most important commitment of my life.

Our wedding was beautiful. All weddings are beautiful. As a pastor, I love doing weddings. But it is easy to get caught up in the ceremony, the celebration, and all the trappings of the big day, and forget the reality that a marriage—the foundation of civilization—is taking place.

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Marriage Is about Now and the Future

Karen and I have four children, and I have been privileged to perform their wedding ceremonies. When each of our children came to me and said that they were in a serious relationship and considering getting married, I reminded them—like my Pop reminded me—that next to surrendering their lives to Christ, this was the most important decision they will ever make.

Important for each other, yes. But there’s more to marriage than the bride and groom. Marriage is about now and the future. No, not just the future as in our lifetime, but the future as in affecting future generations. So when a couple stands before a minister, surrounded by witnesses, they are making a commitment that will set the course and trajectory of their lives, that will impact a time that they cannot see but will influence. The shape and condition of their marriage will be seen, felt, and experienced by the couple’s children. It will profoundly affect those children’s outlook and approach to marriage and how they imprint their children. And so on . . .

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God's Word Is Clear about the Vision and Mission of Marriage

But how does marriage affect future generations, for better or for worse? How can we pass on a godly legacy to those who come after us? What is God’s vision for marriage—and the mission He has charged us with?

The Bible answers these questions. In fact, God through His Word is clear about the vision and mission of marriage. Regrettably, we’ve allowed the influences in the culture and society to cloud this vision, redefine marriage, and repackage how we think about this sacred institution. Satan, the enemy of God and His purposes, wants to either destroy marriage or keep every couple confused about God’s plan for their marriage. Why? Because marriage is the sacred conduit by which God’s plan and purposes are passed on from one generation to the next.

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What Marriage Says about God, Not Us

What’s most important in the marriage is what the marriage says about God and not what it says about us. God is the object, essence, and focus of the marriage and our life together as a couple. This indeed is what and who we live for and what we place in the hands of the next generation. His image won’t fade away. Ours will.

Karen and I have eleven grandchildren. We absolutely love spending time with them and making wonderful memories together. Vacations, calls, FaceTime, special events, surprise visits, texts, and more are intentional ways in which we build memories and stay connected. What great times we have and share together. But we also know that these memories and expressions of our love are not ultimately enduring. Time marches on. The day will come when they will no longer hear Mimi and Papa’s voices. Hopefully they will tell their children about us and the memories of vacations at the beach or the hours we spent laughing and being silly. But this too will eventually fade. What will last? What will have mattered most? What will give them hope?

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God Has a Plan for Your Marriage

God has an overarching plan and purpose for marriage. But more specifically, God has a plan for your marriage. God has a unique mark and expression of His character and glory He wants to make through us as couples during our moment in history. The anchor question we have to keep coming back to is, “What does God want to do through our marriage and through our family?” Far too many of us are simply satisfied with making what we call “family environment” issues the barometer of the quality of the marriage. You know: Are we getting along? Are we managing and resolving our conflicts? Are we keeping our heads above water financially? Are we spending quality time with each other?

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Discerning the Will of God in Marriage

To be sure, these are important considerations. However, the positive answers to these questions still don’t provide the soul- satisfying fulfillment that comes from embracing and aligning our marriage to God’s will and plan for us as a couple. Romans 12:1–2 says, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Notice, there is this appeal to place all that we are (“bodies”) as a living sacrifice in God’s hands; a command not to be shaped and molded into the way in which this world thinks and what it values; a charge to renew our minds so that we see all of life through God’s eyes. All of this so that we “may discern what is the will of God.” True for us as individuals; true in marriage. Let’s not make assumptions about God’s plan for our marriage. Make a habit of grabbing your spouse’s hand and dropping to your knees before an open Bible, asking God to show you what He wants. Then ask Him for the courage to do what He shows you.

Adapted from Your Marriage Today…And Tomorrow: Making Your Relationship Matter Now and For Generations to Come by Crawford & Karen Loritts (©2018). Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission.

CRAWFORD LORITTS is the senior pastor of Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, Georgia. He is a frequent speaker for professional sports teams, including three Super Bowls and the NCAA Final Four Chapel, and has spoken at conferences, churches, conventions and evangelistic outreaches throughout Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the United States. He is also the host of Living A Legacy, a daily radio program.

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