The other day I stood in the hallway at church with my wife. It had been a busy morning and we hadn’t really seen each so we were taking a minute to catch up. We didn’t have long. I had to head one direction, she had to go another. At the end of our conversation I gave her a hug and a kiss. Nothing sloppy, just the standard, “See ya soon, you’re more than a friend,” kind of kiss. As I did, someone walked by, “Hey! No P.D.A.!” They teased. They didn’t mean Petting Dumb Animals. They meant Public Displays of Affection.
Quickly, I turned, pointed to my wedding ring and said, “It’s not a problem. We’ve got a license!”
It was a good natured joke intended to tease and slightly embarrass. My response was a lighthearted attempt to deflect and turn that embarrassment into something funny. We all went our separate ways smiling. But it made me think. My wife and I really are licensed. We’re licensed by God and the State. We’ve got pictures to prove it. We both signed and submitted a contract to the State of Oklahoma. There was a wedding ceremony, held in a church and officiated by a minister of the gospel. At the end that minister prayed then said, “By the power vested in me by God and the State of Oklahoma, I now pronounce you husband and wife.”
As husband and wife we’ve been given the blessing of God (and the state), not only to be together, but to fully enjoy the benefits of what being together as husband and wife can mean. God smiles on our relationship. As a husband, I’ve been set apart for Londa. As a wife, she has been set apart for me. As a couple, we have been set apart by God to become a family.
There’s a Bible word for this, “Holy”.
The word holy means, ‘set apart for God’s purpose.’ Your marriage is not simply about the union of a man and a woman. Fairytale weddings and happily-ever-afters are only one possible part of the story. Those challenges we face learning to live together, love together and stay together are the practice field where God shapes and reshapes us both to become more like Him and live out His purpose in our marriage and community. Marriage can be a beautiful picture of the relationship God has with Believers.
Let’s be honest, most people don’t think of themselves as holy, let alone their marriage. Don’t let the word intimidate you. Holiness isn’t about religious ceremony, or pompous self-righteousness. It’s really about God’s intention for you and His relationship to you and your spouse.
I’ve heard people say, “In my life, God is number one, my spouse is number two and everything else falls in place after that.” They act as though God is asking them to make a choice between Him and their spouse. It’s a noble sentiment, but it’s not what God intends for a married couple. The Bible says, ‘the two become one.’
In a holy marriage, God is number one and the two are becoming one.
God’s not competing with your spouse for your attention or affection. He should be number one, while you and your spouse are becoming one. It builds an interesting dynamic into your relationship. It’s like a love triangle with God at the top. The closer you and your spouse grow to God, the closer you will be to one another.
Don’t settle for an average marriage. Don’t stop with healthy or happy. If you’re married, you’re licensed by God to explore the richest depths of intimacy imaginable. Discover what it means to have a holy marriage.
1 Peter 1:16, “As it is written, ‘Be holy, as I am holy.”
Matthew 19:5, “…a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one…”