Marriage is Not a Shortcut to Maturity

Apr 01, 2022

Marriage is intended by God as a union of two complete persons. It is only when two mature and whole individuals come together in marriage that their union will be complete. Marriage is not designed to be a shortcut to maturity, a way of completing yourself. Rather, God designed marriage as a way for two distinct people to come together and create something bigger and better than either one could achieve individually. Spouses should complement one another, not complete one another.

A mature, complete adult will take responsibility for himself or herself, and will expect the same from those that he or she loves. This requires honesty and a willingness to confront areas of immaturity. As a mature person, you should value your spouse's feelings, attitudes, perspectives, and talents, seeking in everything you do to nurture, develop, and take care of those precious aspects of the one you love.

You must recognize that your spouse is not an extension of yourself; you need to give him or her permission to exist and grow as an individual:

1. See your spouse as a person, not as an object whose only importance consists in meeting your needs.

2. Allow your spouse to have his or her own experience, joining in it, identifying with it, understanding it, and being empathetic with it.

3. Allow your spouse the freedom to be different from you. Value your spouse's differences and treat them with respect. Embrace the differences between you and your spouse as the material out of which love grows.

4. Cherish your spouse's existence. Appreciate your partner for who he or she is, apart from what you get from him or her.

Ultimately, a balance between separateness and togetherness is required for a healthy marriage. When each spouse is a complete person with individual interests and pursuits, the time spent pursuing individual interests actually produces a God-given longing for togetherness which enriches the marriage. But if, because of a controlling spouse, there is no separateness, then there can be no genuine togetherness because there are no longer two complete people involved in the relationship.