You Never Marry the Right Person

I have to give my kudos to Timothy Keller. He is willing to say about marriage what few are willing to say: You Never Marry the Right Person.

Keller writes:

…some people in our culture want too much out of a marriage partner. They do not see marriage as two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation, a “haven in a heartless world,” as Christopher Lasch describes it. Rather, they are looking for someone who will accept them as they are, complement their abilities and fulfill their sexual and emotional desires. This will indeed require a woman who is “a novelist/astronaut with a background in fashion modeling,” and the equivalent in a man. A marriage based not on self-denial but on self-fulfillment will require a low- or no-maintenance partner who meets your needs while making almost no claims on you. Simply put—today people are asking far too much in the marriage partner.

What he is pointing out is that far too many people enter marriage so they can have their needs met, as opposed to entering marriage in order to give to the other person. The goals of marriage for many are off based and set up for failure. If we are looking to have our needs met, is there any one who can actually fulfill all those needs? It seems to me that if the needs are fulfilled on one level, then nothing will happen but the arrival of more needs needing to be fulfilled. This is because the needs of many are sinful in nature and sin is never satisfied.

What we have lost is the idea of self-sacrifice, dying to self, and living for someone else. Even where this does take place, because of our sin nature, there will be times of discord in a marriage. That is what happens when two fallen people come together in marriage.

It is at that point that we have to decide if we are going to press on with the person that we have married, or move on. Far too many Christians move on. Yes, they seek to justify their moving on, but the reality is that they are giving themselves over to their own sin: “she is unforgiving,” “he is always angry!”

If our marriages are supposed to model the gospel, then we must open our eyes to the reality that, yes indeed she is unforgiving and he has an anger problem. But neither of those reasons justify a divorce. The goal is to press on as God has called us to, to forgive and love the person we have been brought together with in holy matrimony. That means we need to be called to be obedient in marriage, especially when it’s not pleasant.

Keller has a lot more to add so please read his article. Be sure and scroll down once you visit that page. It’s kind fo hard to find the article.