Marriage is the clearest way to show the gospel to people around us. It's a blessing that God gives us to show us how much he loves us (his bride). It's a sacred bond of selflessness that should be unbreakable. But, as time goes on this bond has become a chew toy in the jaws of selfishness (divorce, affairs, etc.).
So many times as Christians we shake our heads at how many people get divorced a year (a staggering 877,000 in 2011 according to the CDC), I know I have! But, we should not just seek to defend marriage merely for the sake of marriage, but to defend it for the sake of the gospel being shown. As I stated before marriage is a picture of Gods love toward the church, his bride. He showed his love to her through the blood of his sacrifice. Now, she lavishes his love on him by serving and seeking to please him. It is a never ending show of love between the two, or that is how it should be.
But, essentially our society gratifies one thing in marriage; the desire to be loved. It's like an ad that says: IF YOU WANT TO BE LOVED, GET MARRIED! Then if you don't feel loved you can just fill out some paperwork, talk to a judge, and get a divorce. That's not how God designed marriage and I'm sure he cries for those who get caught up in "being loved."
See, the world missed the part about loving your spouse (and its even written in the marriage vows most of the time). God loved us even when we were his enemies. He poured his love out on us, even as he died on the cross for OUR sins. True love is not just the ability to accept love, but to love NO MATTER WHAT. To love when there are disagreements or sickness or difficulties.
All around us we see people "sampling the fare" of prospective matches. You'd think that Christians would be a better example to people around us, but not really. We despise the worlds perversion of marriage, yet we make our own compromises. You're sitting across the table from a very pretty girl from your local youth group smiling and making eyes at her. If you were married doing this you know your commitment to your wife would be questioned. So, what makes it right to do it now? Nothing! God comes before everyone and everything else and you know that he wants you to be a faithful person (Proverbs 3:3). Being faithful to your future spouse can start right now. Keeping that promise can be difficult, trust me I know from experience. Flirting and "going out" can lead you into a selfish mirage. "Treat marriage with the sacredness that you desire once you are married."
My desire, now till the day I die, is to live with loyalty to ONE man. Yes, I want to be that one-man woman no matter what people think of me. If there is something unacceptable during marriage, then it is unacceptable outside of marriage. Just as the church is loyal to one God, so Christ is loyal to one bride. "So may the saints of Christ rise up, and endeavor, by the power of his life within to showcase the glory of Christ and the Church." I want to feel the cool water of purity, not the muddy mirage of selfishness, what about you?
(all quotes are taken from Lots of Mirages, Very few Marriages
from SetApartGirl online magazine issue Jan/Feb 2014)