I dreamed that I was standing outside a small house in Kenya surrounded by playing children and coffee bushes. As I enjoyed the laughter, a woman wrapped in a brightly colored yellow and blue skirt approached and asked me, “What is the fruit of marriage?” I woke up and spent the remainder of the night hours thinking about the woman’s question.
Marriages produce many different things. In the United States marriage means high taxes than if you’re single, a larger house, two cars instead of one, and sometimes a companion and partner for life. These things are results, but not the fruit of marriage – not what marriage produces.
God said through the prophet Malachi that His design in making a man and woman “one” was that He seeks godly offspring (Malachi 2:15). As parents, we teach our children many things. Our choices teach our children to be spenders or savers. We show conduct as good citizens in public and responsible adults in private. We demonstrate personal hygiene, eating habits, and what it means to live a godly Christian life. We also example how to love and act within a marriage.
Recently I listened to an adult son tell his mother that he didn’t want a girlfriend because of what he “saw, heard, and smelled” in his home growing up. Constant bickering between his parents and alcoholism topped his examples.
What our kids see at home is often reproduced in their own relationships. They mimic our example, making their own marriages the fruit of our marriage.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord…. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it (Ephesians 5:22, 25).