I once read from a saint that above all that marriage is for our own salvation. It brings about repentance, sins that need to be cleansed, habits that need breaking. Its about growth and two individuals aiding one another in their path towards salvation.
Marriage is meant to aid in one’s path to God by having a companion who is making that same path. It is designed to help kill the passions and bring us humility. Of course this isn’t the only purpose of marriage. Child bearing and raising godly children are a big part too. But even parenthood is a cross to bear designed to do a lot of what marriage does, bring one closer to God.
Repentance saves marriages and for good reason. It is a denial of one’s self and a flooding of the passions all for the sake of another. Marriage is about humility. It is the domestic monastery, or Church.
My priest told me a about a rule one of his professors at Duke told him. That is that you always marry the wrong person. It isn’t about finding the right person and that’s a bad place to begin. Its about becoming the right person. Marriage is a sacrifice, a sacrifice of one’s self for another. Compatibility is over-rated, personality matching is over-rated. These things are little and it is about digging through the incompatible and changing yourself first.
Marriage is a cross to bear, but it is through the Cross that joy entered into all the world. Marriage is cruciform.