Common. What other words come to mind when you hear that word? Usual? Ordinary? Plain? Predictable? Typical? Maybe even boring?
How would you picture a common restaurant, or describe a common employee? What does a common weekend look like for you?
But what comes to mind if I said an eatery has uncommon service? Or if I said she was an uncommon teacher? Or if you were told this would be an uncommon vacation?
We all know what a common marriage looks like. (Maybe you feel like you’re living in one yourself!) The usual rush of schedules that make us too busy to connect. The typical scenarios of a passive husband or controlling wife. The predictable bickering or lack of physical intimacy. Common resentment, common numbness, common distance, and the all-too-common divorce.
If that’s what most people envision or experience, is it any wonder that marriage is declining in popularity? That more adults simply choose to live together rather than exchange vows? That, when difficulties arise, divorce is often expected or encouraged?
What Marriage Is Meant to Be
But now think through what an uncommon marriage would look like. A marriage that is uncommon by the stereotypes and standards above would, not coincidentally, look a lot like how the Designer of marriage describes it in His Word. It would include:
- A covenant commitment, with two people joined together by God (Matthew 19:3-6).
- Two spouses who both selflessly serve and actively love each other (Ephesians 5:22-33).
- Honest, loving communication (Ephesians 4:15).
- Living together in peace by consistently overlooking small offenses (Proverbs 19:11) and kindly forgiving each other (Ephesians 4:32).
- Faithful husbands and wives who are satisfied with each other alone (Proverbs 5:15-19).
Overall, an uncommon (yet biblical) marriage might be described using words like “deep,” “fruitful,” or even “enjoyable.” It would model durability and encouragement.
It would also make the world stand up and notice. A marriage like that magnifies the wisdom of God more than a common one. It shouts louder that God’s design for relationships is beautiful and worth pursuing. And as it shows off the transforming work of grace in our lives, it demonstrates to a searching world that there is a treasure and a joy that can only come from Jesus.
Make the Most of Your Marriage
In our broken world, a marriage like that doesn’t come easy, and we can’t manufacture it on our own. We need God’s Spirit and God’s grace: Spirit-infused desires resulting in grace-empowered action (Philippians 2:13).
But more than just marriage, this is how the Christian life is meant to be lived. Our individual lives look uncommon when we have fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11), abundant life (John 10:10), and peace in the midst of pain (Philippians 4:6-7).
This fall Watermark is offering the Uncommon Marriage Conference again, with the goal of inspiring couples to fight the pull of a status quo marriage together and to grow their relationship deeper through the power of His Spirit and the principles of His Word. Join us on November 4 and 5, 2022, and start making your marriage an uncommon one.