Julie Ganschow Answers Questions About Marriage
Today we are sharing the transcript of an interview that Julie Ganschow, Executive Director of Reigning Grace Counseling Center and Biblical Counseling for Women, gave on the topic of Marriage.
Question: Do you think most people marry with a foundational understanding of their role in marriage?
Answer: No, I do not think most people have any idea what their biblical role is in marriage prior to being married. Few pastors (outside of biblical churches) are willing to do premarital counseling that is any more than planning their elaborate wedding. The counseling usually consists of a brief discussion on marriage without a thorough understanding of Ephesians 5 so the couple really does not understand the requirements of a marriage from God’s perspective.
Women have been conditioned by society to resist the word “submission” and this command is not properly taught to men or women in many churches. The sexual area of marriage is also not properly taught pre-maritally, and so many young brides are bitterly disappointed on their wedding night, setting up a lifetime of conflict between them when she is not interested in sex.
Also, many couples are not interested in having a Christ-centered marriage anymore and are too focused on having their felt needs met rather than serving one another.
Question: Would it make a difference later if you knew this going into marriage?
Answer: Most certainly, yes it would. Without a fundamental understanding of what a biblical marriage is supposed to look like, the two sinners involved in the marriage will swiftly resort to a worship of self. Couples need to understand God’s design for marriage before they say, “I do” and in my opinion, long before an engagement ring is placed on her finger. Perhaps, if a true understanding of what marriage is was understood before a couple agreed to marry, there would not be so many divorces.
Question: When I got married I thought marriage was….
Answer: When I was married the first time, I thought it was going to be hard work, but a contract for life. Unfortunately, he didn’t agree with the second part. That marriage was full of discord and unhappiness for both of us, and I really wanted things to change.
I did not understand anything about what the Bible says about marriage, and 1 Corinthians 13 was just something people read at a wedding. We had no good premarital counseling so it was pretty much a disaster.
Later, God blessed me with a wonderful God-fearing man who wanted to marry me and adopt my children. I went into that marriage knowing it was hard work and determined that it was going to be what the Bible said it would be. I have been richly blessed with a wonderful Christ-centered union that reflects His glory.
Question: Now I know that marriage is…
Answer: Marriage is hard work, but it is the total uniting of two individual people into one person in Christ. There is a true physical and spiritual reality to being one flesh as the Bible describes.
Question: The most important thing I want my son or daughter to understand about marriage is….
Answer: I want them to understand that marriage is truly becoming one, and all that brings with it. It means no secrets or secret life. It means one bank account, one goal for saving and spending, one agenda in raising children. I want them to understand that Christ must be at the center of their marriage at all times and that marriage is a loving sacrifice for the sake of the other person. Marriage is putting the other person before you in all respects, considering them better than yourself. Marriage is to be a means to glorify God on a daily basis.
Question: The verse that helps me understand marriage the most is…
Answer: Matthew 19:6: So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.
Question: I can help my child understand God’s idea of marriage by…
Answer: Being as consistent as possible in living out the biblical mandates and discussing them with my kids. Letting them see how couples work through daily life with Christ at the center. We don’t hide our disagreements or troubles from our kids; we allow them to observe us as we wrestle through the processes of problem-solving. Our kids have seen us demonstrate appropriate levels of affection with each other like hand holding and kissing and they frequently hear us express our love for one another.
Our kids also know we sacrifice for each other, surrendering our personal rights for the good of the other, and for them!
Have more questions? If you have questions about marriage, or other topics, you would like to have answered here on the blog just tell us: BC4Women@rgcconline.org.