Marriage Beyond Your Capacity
Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease.
- Jeremiah 29:6
There are some things you just can’t do by yourself. In God’s design, human flourishing always takes place in community.
In Jeremiah’s letter to the exiles, he encourages them to do things that they can only do if they’re connected to a safe, healthy, loving community. Jeremiah points the people to God’s original purposes for them: to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and subdue it, to bless all the nations of the earth. And they can’t do that alone.
Imagine the pressure that life in exile would place on you. You’re surrounded by culture and traditions that are foreign to you. You’re far from home. You might be tempted to hunker down, hermit-like, even though you live in a bustling city. But if you do that, you won’t know or love your neighbors. You won’t have friends. You won’t be able to fulfill God’s purposes for you.
Jeremiah pushes the exiles to establish a network of relationships that extend beyond their nuclear families. And when they do that, they will thrive.
Reggie Joiner has this concept that he calls “parenting beyond your capacity.” The idea is that even when parents are doing their best, healthy kids need other adults to be present in their lives in order for them to thrive. We think this principle hold in marriage as well.
God invites those of us who are married to be in marriages beyond our capacity. No marriage can thrive without a support system. When we have healthy friends and family around us, this marriage thing is a different animal. Encouragement. Correction. Support. These all make a tremendous difference.
Take some time today to think through who God’s placed in your life for you to support as they seek healthy, holy relationship. Take a moment today to pray for them.