Marriage Isn’t Meant to Meet Your Needs

Christopher Ash | November 3, 2016

One of my favorite cartoons shows a group of cavemen standing on top of a cliff, watching one of their own fall over the edge. But he hasn’t fallen—he’s been thrown. As he falls, the group’s leader looks angrily at the others. “Well, is there anyone else here whose needs are not being met?”

This is a mischievous but timely critique of a culture in which we expect everything—including our marriages—to meet our needs.

When we approach marriage expecting our needs to be met, we fail to understand the real nature of love, and we sow seeds of marital destruction. God hasn’t designed marriage as a means to meet our personal needs. Assuming marriage is about meeting needs is dangerous for at least two reasons. 

1. Because it’s not real love.


Inward-looking marriage isn’t real love because it encourages us to view sex and marriage selfishly. “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you?” Jesus asked (Luke 6:32). Any love that merely gazes adoringly into the eyes of another who adores us isn’t really love at all. 

One of the most frightening things about Jesus’s parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19–31) is that the rich man…

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