Do Rolling Stones Make Good Marriages?

Most of us have heard the proverb “A rolling stone gathers no moss” which has a dual interpretation aptly phrased by Mareli Csabai in her blog Stirring Lines (link):

A person who never settles in one place will never be successful.
A person who does not keep active will grow moldy.

In this proverb we find two useful lessons for marriage.

In the first sense stop rolling and settle in to be dedicated to your spouse. The verdant moss is a testimony to your devotion.


Image via Wikipedia

In the second sense keep rolling and moving to devotedly pour effort into the health of your marriage. The cleanliness of your stone is a testimony to your devotion.

So which is it? The beauty of language (or is the frustration!) is both interpretations are valid. I prefer the angle of being grounded and fruitful and in this view I have good company as GK Chesterton said in his book “Heritics“:

The rolling stone rolls echoing from rock to rock; but the rolling stone is dead. The moss is silent beause the moss is alive.

Chesterton criticized world travelers of having dead souls as they rolled from place to place, never rooted and grounded in a community where planted in proper context the soul is full of life.

I hear wisdom offered to those rolling echoing from relationship to relationship, because their souls are thirsty and starved, comparatively dead next to those peaceful and alive, devotedly grounded in a lifelong marriage.

A devoted, lifelong marriage enables the two united souls to go beyond surviving bouncing from relationship to relationship to thriving in the one relationship!

Do rolling stones make good marriages? No, I do not believe they do.

  • How are you rolling along? Are your activities strengthening or draining your marriage? Are you pouring love into your spouse or are your efforts divided extra-maritally whether people or activities?
  • How are you growing moss? Is your devotion strengthening or draining your marriage? Are you devoted to your spouse or is your devotion divided extra-maritally whether people or activities?

What Marriage Can Teach You About Eternity

I see marriage as the central concept of relationships and our classroom for what is to come. In Genesis God gave us the concept of marriage and in Revelation John was given a glimpse of the future fulfillment: “the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready.”

Created by Phil Scoville on June 25, 2005 Down...

Image via Wikipedia

What does the marriage of the Lamb (Jesus) with the Bride (those whose names are written in the Book of Life) mean for eternity? I believe God has given us the concept and training ground of marriage to teach us just that.

I am puzzled as to what the Bride’s marriage to Jesus for eternity means physically. But I am not puzzled in the areas of spirit and soul. Our relationship with our spouse in spirit and soul, with sin eliminated and true holiness increased, is the same mode and content as our relationship with Jesus. The best relationship skills we learn in earthly marriage with our spouse have direct application to the coming eternal marriage with Jesus.

Here is what I mean: In spirit and soul, in the midst of loving, intimate vulnerability the Bride surrenders to the Groom’s ministrations which produce joy and delight at times building to ecstasy, and in the right times the Groom plants the seed of a new work in the Bride.

The fruit of the commitment to live together as one and of loving intimacy, this new work, grows and changes the Bride and Groom’s life. Anticipation of what the new work will be like produces wonderful changes. When the new work has gestated long enough it is brought forth which is itself an amazing process which ends in extreme, deep joy!

Bride and Groom nurture this new work, pouring themselves into it, reveling in the joy of the journey with all the new developments.

This is the spirit and soul of marriage. The physical pictures this description bring to mind merely shows how the spirit, soul, and physical are intertwined.

So what can we learn about eternity from marriage? It is good! It is the epitome of what you are practicing now: getting to know Jesus, eliminating sin, and increasing in true holiness.

Unless of course you are not getting to know Jesus, are not eliminating sin, are not increasing true holiness, then eternity will be the epitome of what you are practicing in your marriage now: eternal suffering in the lake of fire.

How are you improving your marriage? How are you eliminating sin? How are you increasing in true holiness? How are you preparing for eternity with Jesus? Or are you?

What Everyone Should Learn from Marriage

My last comment was, we practice marriage now; what does it mean for eternity? What are we supposed to be learning from marriage?

We practice marriage. We have this annoying flaw called sin. “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” “If we say we have not sinned we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.”

Practice makes permanent. If we practice sin, our marriages will be wounded and stunted. We need to minimize sin and practice what is good to have a healthy and strong marriage so it will function as designed to achieve the goals of marriage.

Vector image of two human figures with hands i...

Image via Wikipedia

Goals? What are we practicing for? What should we learn from marriage? Marriage is the primary training ground for all types of relationships, especially our relationship with God. Marriage is the context that offers the relationships of husband-wife, father-son, father-daughter, mother-son, mother-daughter, and brother-sister.

These types of relationship describe aspects of our relationship with God, give us practice grounds for developing a full, healthy, multi-angle relationship with God. And if we cannot have healthy relationships with ourselves, our spouse, and those around us, we will not have healthy relationship with God.

What do we practice? Love, truth, wisdom, and life. Why? Because Jesus is love, is truth, is wisdom, is life and we are made in His image, flawed with sin. Jesus will be these things in His marriage with the Bride (whatever He means by the concept and analogy). He is refining the sin out of us, from glory to glory, to be like Himself, to have His character. So we will be love, truth, wisdom, and life back to Him to the extent we allow Him to work these attributes in us, practiced with our spouse.

And what does it mean for eternity? As we minimize sin and maximize His character, becoming our true identity and developing the good, healthy relationship with our spouse that God intends, we get a glimpse of one of the core concepts of what eternity will be like: marriage with Jesus. Again, whatever He physically means by the concept and analogy, but the spiritual and soul level character and emotion is illustrated. Talk about Heaven on Earth! The Kingdom of God has come! And it is best developed and revealed in our marriages!

Are you giving love, truth, wisdom and life to your spouse? And to God?