“A marriage is not a joining of two worlds, but an abandoning of two worlds in order that one new one might be formed. In this sense, the call to be married bears comparison to Jesus’ advice to the rich young man to sell all his possessions and to follow Him. It is a vocation to total abandonment. For most people, in fact, marriage is the single most wholehearted step they will ever take toward a fulfillment of Jesus’ command to love one’s neighbor as oneself.” (Mike Mason, from his book, “The Mystery of Marriage”)
I never thought of marriage in that way. Truthfully, I thought when I became Steve’s wife we would just join our lifestyles together. There was never any thought of abandoning anything. Perhaps, my former address and last name, but nothing else. But I’ve learned differently. In order for our marriage to be a good one, I need to continually change a lot of my approaches to life. I’ve learned that just because I feel a certain way about something, it doesn’t mean that I should follow it through with my words and actions.
We too often forget to view our spouse as our closest neighbor. Sadly, many of us are politer and more considerate in dealing with friends than we are to our spouse. It’s as if we think our marriage license gives us permission to say and do what feels “right” in our eyes. But that reasoning is just not right.
If we take the command seriously to “love our neighbor as oneself” then we will show it by our words and actions. We will join each other’s world. And we will abandon our selfism in exchange for partnering in marriage. Essentially, we promise in our vows to abandon two single-minded worlds. And then we are to join and “cleave together” in one marital world of love and partnership. That is God’s formula for growing a marriage that He would consider “good.”
(taken from Marriage Missions – Cindy & Steve Wright)