Marriage and Purpose

Written by Charles Ekong

03/06/2024

This week, my wife and I will celebrate thirteen years of marriage. Surrounded by parents who have been married for fifty-three and forty-five years and are still going strong, it feels like we’re just getting started. But I’m grateful to God for our experiences, especially the valley experiences that drove us to Him. I can honestly say I’m a different man from the one my wife married, but sometimes I wish I’d known what I was walking into before I made my vows. Maybe I could’ve been a better husband, and we could’ve avoided some of the pain we experienced along the way. So, this week, I’m sharing some of what I’ve learnt. Hopefully, it’ll especially benefit newlyweds and those looking to get married.

Dr. Myles Monroe of blessed memory often said: “When purpose is not known, abuse is inevitable”. “Why did I get married?” Is a question I’ve heard many ask. It’s such a popular question, often heard in the throes of a challenging season, that Hollywood made a movie about it. I’ve witnessed many marry for all sorts of reasons, especially those driven by lustful desires, often without contemplating the long-term implications of their choices, and they eventually pay the price. Furthermore, in a world that encourages self-gratification, many also enter marriage with the wrong attitude. For instance, an obdurate or self-centred person will struggle to make a good spouse, and the marriage will invariably suffer. So, self-examination is vital before marriage, and it should begin with understanding the purpose of marriage and why we want to be married.

God is the originator of marriage, not us. Therefore, I’m convinced that no marriage can be successful without Him, even if the couple spends their lifetime together, because He decides what a successful marriage is. The story of marriage began in Genesis 2 after God created Adam and gave him his assignment [Genesis 2:15]. Soon after, it became evident that Adam needed help [Genesis 2:16]. So, God gave Adam a helper, Eve [Genesis 2:18-23]. The two were to work together to fulfil the assignment God gave Adam [Genesis 2:24]. It’s worth stressing that while both had different roles to fulfil, they were equals – co-regents [Genesis 1:26-28, 1 Peter 3:7]. God is intentional: He never brings two people together without a reason. His purpose is always on Earth as in Heaven [Matthew 6:10]. So, as a married couple, it’s fundamental to ask: “How does God want us to establish and grow His kingdom in our sphere of influence?”. Every marriage prioritising this will know God’s help experientially [Ecclesiastes 4:12].

Knowing God has an assignment for your union is one thing, but knowing your specific assignment as a couple is another. The latter happens by revelation. Earlier in my marriage, I didn’t value prayer and contemplation as much as I do now. My wife did, and she seemed to hear God more clearly than I did. I initially found my lack of discernment and clarity frustrating, but it showed I needed to grow spiritually. However, my lack of clarity on where God was leading hindered us in at least two ways. First, without my unreserved endorsement, she was tentative about following the leading of the Spirit [Romans 8:14]. Second, she couldn’t benefit from my witness to confirm what she perceived in her spirit [John 8:17]. So, I’d advise couples to actively develop their personal relationships with God to hear clearly from Him independently [Isaiah 30:21]. Knowing you both heard the same thing will strengthen your faith and give you the confidence to take bold steps [Amos 3:3, Habakkuk 2:2].

Time is often said to be the unit of destiny or the currency of life. So, a life well spent is time well spent. Once you have clarity of purpose as a couple, your decisions will be streamlined, and you’ll invariably walk circumspectly [Ephesians 5:15-16]. It’s vital to understand that knowing your assignment doesn’t mean you’re ready for it. Every disciple is called, equipped, and then commissioned when ready [see Luke 5:10, Mark 16:15-18, Acts 5:15-16]. As such, every couple desiring to serve God must make time to prepare for their assignment [Ephesians 4:11-14]. These days, my wife and I prioritise being mentored by the same voices. We also read and study similar materials. As such, our conversations are often rich and edifying, fostering an atmosphere of intimacy, growth and bliss that minimises quarrels, strife and disunity in our home. I know couples united in their vision to fulfil their God-given assignment. They have desirable marriages, and my wife and I are determined to emulate them. 

Kingdom-minded couples are a threat to the domain of darkness because they propagate the Gospel and raise kingdom-minded children [Genesis 18:19]. So, the devil unsurprisingly contends with such marriages, often going after their health, finances or both when he can’t sow discord in their union [1 Peter 5:8-9]. Scripture warns us to remain vigilant for his schemes and cast down every ungodly thought and opinion in our minds [2 Corinthians 2:11, 10:4-6]. Trials will come, but remember that your part is to enforce Jesus’s victory over the domain of darkness by aligning your mind and mouth with God’s word [Luke 12:12, Philippians 4:6-9]. Say only what God says about you, your marriage and your home [John 12:49-50]. His words are infused with His power and, therefore, able to change any situation contrary to His will when spoken in faith [Isaiah 55:10-11, John 6:63].

Remember that if God orchestrated your marriage, it’s precious to Him. So, He’ll guide you into all He has for you as you submit to His counsel [Proverbs 3:5-6]. Even if you feel you married the wrong person, you’re precious to Him, and nothing is irredeemable in His hands [Matthew 19:26]. My wife often says it takes one person and God to redeem a marriage. So, become a doer of His word, and watch Him fight your battles [James 1:22-25, 2 Chronicles 20:15].

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