Marriage is a beautiful gift from God for our enjoyment and His glory. In the union of marriage, men and women catch a glimpse of the joys that come through union with Christ, the true Bridegroom. As is the case with almost all good things in life, Satan uses marriage for his own evil purposes.
Well, he does it through various means, such as distortion or perversion, but I want to focus specifically on another means, one that is found so often within the church walls: idolatry.
Yes, idolatry. People, including many Christians, have taken the good gift of marriage meant to glorify God, and
they we have been guilty of finding greater joy and value in the gift rather than the Giver. It is idolatry. It is sin.
Are you guilty of this? For all of you who are married, do you care more what your spouse thinks of you than you do your Father in heaven? Does the idea of your husband’s or wife’s undying love for you send your heart fluttering more than news of the Savior’s sacrificial love for you that was displayed on the cross? Which impacts your daily life more: spouse or God? If you could spend eternity in heaven with your spouse or with God, which would you choose? Even if your answers to those questions were the correct ones, I have a hunch that there was at least a trace of inner turmoil, a battle between two opposing forces. At the root of that struggle wasn’t a contest of pure love for two objects, but a wrestling match between true and false worship. A hint of reluctance in answering those questions reveals at least a hint of idolatry in our hearts.
But this idolatry is also prevalent with those who check the “single” box on tax returns and other forms. It is not wrong to desire marriage at all (1 Cor. 7:36). But it is sinful to believe that only a husband or wife will bring true fulfillment to your life. Have you ever fallen into that trap? Maybe you are right now. Satan is tempting you to think that something is wrong with you because you haven’t married yet, and only finding the “one” will remedy your depression. Once you find that soulmate, you imagine, the clouds will part, bringing the rays of happiness to shine upon your face. Ever believed that lie? Idolatry.
Even churches can be guilty of subtly propagating this sinful deception through the way we treat singles or, more aptly, don’t treat them. They are left to fend for themselves while practically all church resources are given to programs for married couples. It is only after finding a spouse does the couple now fit into the normal structure of the church. Do you see the message this sends? Marriage brings you into the steady flow of church programming.
This is a falsehood that must be destroyed. It is only in Christ that you can find true joy and fulfillment. A spouse’s love cannot come close to equalling that of our Bridegroom’s. Our love for our spouse should not come close to equalling that for our Bridegroom. He desires our all, and He deserves our all. Marriage was only meant to point us to the greater reality of the gospel, not replace it.
Have you seen the idolatry in your heart? If so, the good news is that forgiveness and grace to change can be found at the cross. Cry out to Christ. Let His Spirit transform your heart to rip out the idol that is sitting on the throne of your heart.