Do you need your spouse?
That is a question that I am often asked. The thought typically goes something like this: If my husband does not pay the bills on time, have a job, mow the grass, take care of things around the house, etc…or if my wife doesn’t cook, clean, nurture the kids or or want to have sex as often as I want to, etc…than what do I need him or her for?
While those thoughts makes sense in material, functional aspects of our relationship, it seems to ignore the spiritual purposes that God joins a marriage together for. And, it is the spiritual purpose of marriage that is the challenge for us all to see. See, the question is not really what we understand that we need from our spouse. Rather, what need God was satisfying through marrying a particular man to a particular woman.
What is the spiritual need of your marriage?
The realization of why God would match us with the person we are married to is first of all that there are purposes and situations that God sees in our future to which we don’t have a clue. So then, He gives us our spouse to affect higher purposes than we are presently aware of. It is an important thought because, we tend to get frustrated and aggravated when our spouse does or says things that hurt or challenge us. But if we look for and understand there is a higher spiritual purpose to marriage, then we find new perspective for the emotional places our marriage can take us to. So here are two possible ways that God can be blessing us through our spouse, beyond the material or functional parts of our relationship.
God’s View of What You Need:
- Just a Closer Walk with Jesus. If a couple is married more than a few days, it is quite possible that they have experienced more than a few challenges in their relationship. No body wants to go through hurt, pain and/or challenge, but they are coming and common to all marriages. It is in all of those things that we face during the course of our marriage, that God brings us closer to Him. I recently, spoke with a couple attesting to this reality. Years of hurt had seemingly brought the relationship to the breaking point. But, a little reflection on how through the “tough stuff” they came to pray more, read the Bible more and rely on Christ for wisdom and strength more, they saw the need of their marriage differently. God sees marriage as the place, the most effective tool, to draw you in to deeper relationship with Him.
- A Mate for all Seasons. Our best guesses and gut feelings about the person that we married, God sees the truth of who we are and who we are married to. On the day that you married, or for that matter, even met your current spouse, God knew about illnesses that are dormant but that will show up later in your marriage. He knew the name of your unborn children as well as the ways that they will challenge your marriage relationship in their teenage years. God also saw, stumbling housing market and lagging job markets. The list can go on. The point is, marriage is full of unexpected’s but God knows the end even when we are just at the beginning. With that long view over your life and your spouse’s life He married the two of you together. He did so knowing what you will need to face every twist, turn and challenge that your marriage with face. That is why you need your husband or wife with each of their particular quirks and oddities.
I am sure there could be other spiritual reasons that we need our spouse for. But just reflecting on these two is probably a pretty good start. Beyond the material and physical needs of your marriage, God is bringing about spiritual growth in and through your marriage. And, that growth comes both in the things that make you laugh and in the things that make you cry!
Here are a few passages of Scripture to add a little more shape to our points of reflection:
Genesis 2:18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Genesis 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
EYM, what are your thoughts, can you see where your marriage has brought you closer to God? Do you need the spouse that God has given you?