So last night we again went to Solid Rock church... we were so happy with our first experience we had to go again. This second visit was even better, not being so in awe of the church sanctuary as I was the first time and focusing even more on the worship and word coming from the front was very important to my overall experience ;).

The pastor's name is Jon Mark (I think that's how he spells it) anyhow what a cool name, I totally love it and it fits him so well. He is my age... that totally threw me, he is so much older and wiser than his years. That's very refreshing! I know that sounds like an oxymoron but it is. When's the last time you met a 30 year old man who is an amazing bible teacher? Who has been with the same wife for 10 years, has two kids and pastors a church and does a really good job at it too. I think you may be thinking I am in danger of idolizing him, nope nothing could be further from the truth. I know that the job he has is mega hard and I for one was not called for something like that, but I sure can respect the man for his hard work dedication and love for God and the human condition.

Ok on to the message....
He continued on the topic of marriage, I took lot's of notes because everything he was saying was so amazing and eye opening that I wanted to be able to remember it.
Ok here it is. rough and uncut.. I'll try to bring the concepts together for you so that you can get the whole picture a little more easily.
I know this is a lot of reading but I think you may find that it answers some questions you may be having about marriage. 
It really did answer some of my own issues.
Take care and God Bless.

Reasons for marriage

1.friendship companionship 
-god exists in a web of relationships. Trinity. Adam made in the image of God therefore he is in need of relationships. It is ok to need relationships. You don't need marriage to have relationships but marriage is the primary experience or image  of the Echad - one being.
Your spouse should be your closest friend and confidant. You should be able to be naked and unashamed with your spouse, I know I wrote the word naked but it's true it's important to be able to be that vulnerable with your spouse. In other relationships you can't be as open and honest as you can within the bounds of your marriage.

2. Mission-- God gives Adam a job to do - take care of the garden. Work is part of the original theology (work was cursed) but in original before man's relationship with the ground was cursed it was the calling on mans life to work. 
We are called to work for humans flourishing. Your job is a part of Gods calling on your life. We live in a society where we work to live to make as much money as we can and look forward for the weekend when we can play. 
Your job is a calling of God on your life that helps humans flourish on the earth. What helps humans thrive on the earth and glorifies God?
 Husbands you are called to provide for your wife and family. Every man needs a mission. Why are you here? What has God put you on the earth for? Seek council and pray to know this calling on your life.
Function of Eve is as a helper. She is from his side, his equal and his partner.
Every marriage has to have a mission. All healthy marriages must have a mission. If the point of your marriage is your marriage it is doomed. If the goal is to stare at each other with gooey eyes over coffee that works for about 6 mos. If you are not yet married- ask some questions of the one you are with... what is your mission? If you are a woman you need to think about if you are up for that same mission. The wife needs to be a helper to her spouse on the mission God has called him to.

3. Sexuality- reason for marriage- you need another human being to share this area in your life. ;) this was covered in detail last time. 

4. Family- be fruitful and multiply, make babies. Many schools of thought out there here are some:

Child centered - your family revolves around you children what they need what they want, their hopes and dreams, pretty much your family bows down the your kindergartner... Not ideal a child needs to be part of the family not the center of it, you as a family are a team. A child centered marriage will implode or at best be struggling with a lot of issues throughout it's run.

Family centered- this may sound ideal and yes family is important but as followers of Christ if all we are concerned is with our own family we have missed the mark and if we have made the betterment of our family our mission we have missed His calling and his mission for us. 

Mission centered- your family needs a mission. If your family is your mission then it will struggle. 
God is life and my life my marriage and my family needs to be centered on the calling that God has placed on my life.

1. Friendship
2. Mission
3  Sexuality
4  Family

In America most people go into marriage searching for happiness. That mindset sabotages literally millions of marriages. Happiness and love is the result of marriage not the reason for marriage.
If you go into marriage looking for happiness you are setting yourself up for failure. Happiness is not there all the time and in our country the divorce rate us over 50+%. 

Line from a movie- this is not working for me  I am not happy we need to get a divorce. 

If you're looking for happiness in your spouse your going to be let down often.

Opposites attract and then they attack. line from an e-harmony commercial... 

What if Gods ultimate goal for you was not happiness but holiness? Think about how the things you find the most insane about your spouse are the things that you need to be around the most, because they drive you to sanctification and God is working his holiness in you trough your spouse.

Happiness is a by-product.
Ask the right questions!!!
Don't ask is he making me happy instead ask am I making him happy?
Is he my friend? No the right question would be; am I his friend? Does he fulfill me? How about asking; do I fulfill him? Asking the right questions is key. There is no grater context to learn to be more like Jesus than marriage. To learn to serve, love and sacrifice regardless of what you get in return.
The result will be joy. Seek 1st the kingdom of  God and all of these other things will be added unto you. Matthew 6:33