Fruitful vs. Functional Marriage


Fruitful vs Functional MARRIAGE-What's The Difference??

A married friend of mine & I were talking the other day about her marriage. She's been contemplating ending her marriage and for right now she and her husband have been sleeping in separate rooms. In our talk, my friend mentioned that this seemed to be quite the norm lately with several couples she knows and was this wrong? These couples, much like her have decided to stay married for the sake of the children, but logistically, they live separate lives, sleeping in different bedrooms and managing the household more like business transactions.

I suggested to her that, while the sacrifice to stay under the same roof for the sake of the children was commendable, as so many couples nowadays just “jump ship” leaving behind several casualties of war-primarily the children, they have now entered into a functional marriage, but far from a fruitful marriage.

As I was discussing this with her, I gave her this example. If I decided to plant an apple tree in my back yard, it would be because at some point I am expecting this tree to produce apples so I can enjoy eating the fruit. Most people plant a fruit tree, expecting the tree to bear fruit at some time. Does the tree serve other purposes? Absolutely....It can provide shade. It can be a nice home for squirrels. It may be great to look at in a once desolate and empty back yard, all very functional purposes, but until the tree produces what it was made to produce, it is not a fruitful tree.

This analogy can also be true for marriage. Unfortunately, many people marry for functional reasons, such as what they may benefit from. for example, companionship, sex on a regular basis, financial support...all very functional reasons, but seldom do people marry in anticipation of how they will develop a fruitful marriage. What's the difference, you may ask? Well let's see.

In Genesis 1:27, 28, the bible says “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

So many marriages have physically fulfilled this directive from God, because as we all know, there are many, many children on this earth! Reproducing life is a blessing from God and represents the first part of this admonishment of being fruitful -physically, but what about emotionally and spiritually? We have the children, great, but is that it? Absolutely not! There are many, many other references in the bible that speak to the emotional and spiritual fruit that marriage is supposed to bear, but so little emphasis or preparation is made for this part.

Emotionally and spiritually, for example, the bible tells wives in Hi