Francis Chan on a meaningful marriage
I’ve made two great decisions in life. One was to follow Jesus of Nazareth, the second was to marry Ramona of Saskatchewan, Canada. For me, marriage is more than just “an expensive way to get my laundry done for free,” as the old joke goes. Almost four decades of marriage is a blessing and a daily reminder that God’s amazing. But if you’ve never looked up marriage jokes on the Internet, well, don’t. You’ll find that marriage bashing is a popular sport. Maybe you’ve heard the jokes:
“My wife and I were happy for twenty years,” said Rodney Dangerfield. “Then we met.” I guess Rodney would know. He was married three times. George Burns joked, “I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.” Ironically, George was married just once, to Gracie Burns. But if you spend much time watching late night talk shows you’ll wonder why anyone in their right mind would get married.
The Bible on the other hand, tells us that marriage is not just a great idea, it’s God’s idea. Proverbs 18:22 says,
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord.”
Why then are so many Christian marriages falling apart?
From time to time, I have guests on Laugh Again. Recently I posed that question to Francis Chan and found his answer unusual and helpful. “Many will tell you to focus on your marriage, to focus on each other,” he said. But Francis and his wife Lisa believe that a fantastic marriage comes when “both of you make it your goal to become more like Jesus.” Francis said that Satan wants us to look to temporary things and ignore eternity.
Focusing on God’s mission for them is what has made their marriage “amazing.” “Being in war together is what keeps us from being at war with each other,” he told me. “If a healthy fear of God is at the foundation of who we are, a beautiful life and marriage can be built upon this.”
Reminds me of Psalm 34:3,
“Come magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together.”
I wonder if a good acronym for HOPE is this: Having One Purpose—Eternity. Whether we’re married or not, living with eternity in view will bring purpose, hope, and great joy.
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