Paul Tripp answers the question, “How should the Great Commission affect marriage?”
He says, “You really don’t get why God puts this significant, everyday, comprehensive, demanding relationship right in the middle of everything He’s called me to do, unless you understand that they’re all just one in the same. So, in marriage God is making me a disciple through marriage, because marriage exposes my need of grace.
If you want your heart revealed get married. If you want it further revealed have children. If you want even further revelation get an untrained pet. All of those things God uses to disciple me, but they also call me to ask the question, ‘what does it look like to live like a disciple of Jesus Christ in this particular circumstance, situation, location?’
Let’s take marriage for example, my whole approach to marriage is the Gospel, because I’ve got to understand that marriage is about a flawed person living next to a flawed person in a fallen world, but with a faithful God. So, I can’t look to my husband or wife to be my own personal messiah. No one is ever married to the fourth member of the trinity. There’s three seats and they’re well taken. So, I can’t ask for my husband or wife to give me identity, or meaning and purpose, or inner sense of well being. The minute I do that I put a pressure on my marriage that it can’t bare. Thousands of couples are doing that.
I’ve heard a hundred wives say, ‘All I ever wanted was a man who would make me happy.’ Oh my goodness! He should love you, but if you’re looking at that man to be the source of your happiness you’re in big trouble, because he’s a flawed human being. So, you can’t understand marriage without the Gospel, without the Great Commission.”
For a more in-depth marriage resource, check out Paul Tripp’s book, What Did You Expect? Redeeming the Realities of Marriage. This unique book introduces a biblical and practical approach to those realities that is rooted in God’s faithfulness and Scripture’s teaching on sin and grace. “Spouses need to be reconciled to each other and to God on a daily basis,” Tripp declares. “Since we’re always sinners married to sinners, reconciliation isn’t just the right response in moments of failure. It must be the lifestyle of any healthy marriage.”
What Did You Expect? presents six practical commitments that give shape and momentum to such a lifestyle. These commitments—ranging from “We will honestly face our sin, weakness, and failure” to “We will change our agenda” and “We will protect our relationship”—will equip couples to develop a thriving, grace-based marriage in all circumstances and seasons of their relationship.