When you look at marriage from a worldly perspective there are only a few incentives; tax write offs, combined income, psychological support through life, etc. These are all well and good, and they promote a healthy society in general. But when you look at marriage through a spiritual lens you see that it has a bigger purpose. The point of being married is the same as everything else in the universe, to glorify God. It is a gift that we can only take advantage of in this existence (Matt. 22:30 NIV), and marriage fulfills its purpose in three exclusive ways.
Marriage acts as a safe place to explore, understand, and enjoy sex.
In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul explains that because of the great amount of immorality it was best for each person to have their own husband or wife, so that they would not participate in the illicit sexual practices that were taking place around them. Those words still apply to us today. Sex with in marriage is the equivalent of living at Disney world. Sex outside of marriage is the equivalent of riding a rickety homemade roller coaster. It’s just not safe. No matter how "fun" it may seem.
Marriage is designed to mirror the relationship between Christ and the church.
Throughout scripture, God refers to the church as his bride. In Ephesians, Paul explains how married couples should emulate Christ’s relationship with the church in three ways.
1. The cycle of love and respect
2. The cycle of sanctification
3. Unity and Intimacy
As husbands and wives strive to meet these standards they show case Gods glory in their marriage.
Sounds beautiful, but boy is it difficult to do. The trick is not to give up on these standards when it gets hard. When I don’t respect my husband it is hard for him to continue to show me love. When he doesn’t lead me spiritually it is hard for me to continue to respect him. Without intimacy and unity, we become more like roommates or business partners instead of a married couple. So realizing these facts I have to keep pushing to make it work. I keep Philippians 3:14 at the forefront of my mind when I want to give up and let my sinful nature take over.
So my question to you is: who are you giving glory to? If you aren’t striving to give God glory, you are dishonoring him by default. Keep fighting the good fight, this is bigger than you.