The wedding day has finally come. Tomorrow, Lord willing, I will no longer be not-yet-married.
In a month or year or five years, people will ask us how marriage is going. We didn’t want to have to settle for how we feel in the moment, so we prayed about what we want out of marriage. We have specific, hope-filled dreams for what God might do as we patiently and selflessly give ourselves to one another day after day until death do us part.
My bride and I will walk the aisle looking beyond the altar, our beautiful bridal party, and all our beloved guests to something far bigger and more significant: a lifetime of treasuring Christ together in marriage.
For sure, we’re naïve and inexperienced, but we have a God bigger than all of our fears, inadequacies, and future failures. The marriage in our imaginations is not always pretty, but it is beautiful. It’s not always easy, but it is worth all the effort and sacrifice. It’s certainly not perfect, but it is filled with grace and joy.
“The marriage in our imaginations is not always pretty, but it is beautiful.”
These are seventeen dreams we have for our marriage. I wonder if you have dreams for yours? A marriage without a vision might survive, but it probably won’t grow or thrive. Whether you’re currently married or feel called to be married someday, God created marriage to be an amazingly rich, dynamic, and fruitful experience for his children. Pray and ask him to show you new and deeper dimensions of all he means marriage to be for you and your (future) spouse.
1. May we enjoy God more than anyone or anything else, including one another.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. (Psalm 16:11)
2. May we pray and pray and pray.
“Pray then like this: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’” (Matthew 6:9–13)
3. May we have and raise joyful, godly children, if God wills.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. (Psalm 127:3–4)
4. May we be bold ambassadors for the gospel wherever we go and always be winning worshipers for him.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:20–21)
5. May we meet God together regularly in his Word.
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. (Psalm 19:7–10)
6. May we make our home a safe, inviting, and life-giving place for others.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (Romans 12:12–13)
7. May we be a blessing to the families God has given to us.
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” (Ephesians 6:1–3)
8. May we find ways to learn from marriages more mature than ours and to invest in marriages younger than ours.
Be filled with the Spirit . . . submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. . . . Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:18–25)
9. May we live worthy of the gospel, cultivating shorter cycles of correction, confession, repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation.
Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. (Hebrews 3:12–13)
10. May we develop, enjoy, guard, and model a healthy and pure sex life.
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:3–5)
11. May we maintain a healthy rhythm of rest, knowing that God loves us and runs the world.
Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. (Psalm 127:1–2)
12. May we always love and invest in the local church.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:24–25)
13. May we disciple younger men and women and raise up leaders for God’s church.
You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:1–2)
“Our greatest desire is God himself, so we know that he will lead us, meet us, and keep us in marriage.”
14. May we support God’s global cause through world missions.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy. (Psalm 67:3–4)
15. May we hold what we have loosely and freely overflow in generosity.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:7–8)
16. May we sing.
Let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. (Psalm 5:11)
17. May we never stop pursuing each other, striving to know and serve one another faithfully and creatively.
Love one another. . . . Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10)
The list is long, but not complete. We have no doubt that there are more and better dreams to dream. But for now, we know how to pray tomorrow. Our greatest desire is God himself, so we have every confidence that he will lead us, meet us, and keep us in marriage.