“This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church.” Ephesians 5:32
It is interesting that during Paul’s instructions on marriage in Ephesians 5, he goes back to the very beginning – to Genesis where marriage first began. He writes, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh,” Ephesians 5:31. This is actually taken from Genesis 2:24. Why does Paul go back to the very first marriage to talk to us about our marriages? It is because the marriage relationship is a covenant relationship.
When a man and woman get married it is much more than just a piece of paper. They are making a covenant promise to God and a covenant promise to each other. When they become one flesh, they seal this covenant. Why is this important? You will never understand your marriage or any marriage until you understand the unbelievable truth of this verse: “This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the Church,” Ephesians 5:32.
Marriage, at its deepest level, is to be a reflection of the relationship of Christ with His Church. What does that mean? Jesus kept the covenant that God made first with Adam, then with Abraham, then with Moses, and then with David that God would forgive our sin, becoming one with us in a permanent relationship that will never end. Just like Jesus, we are to keep our covenant in marriage. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a spouse say, “I owe it to myself to be happy.” That is a lie from the mouth of Satan. You owe it to yourself to keep your commitment. You owe it to your wife/husband to be loyal to your vows. You owe it to your children who did not ask to be brought into this world by you to give them a stable home. In fact, we don’t owe ourselves anything – we owe God everything.
Husbands are compared to Christ. Wives are compared to the Church. Husbands are compared to the head. Wives are compared to the Body. This is the bottom line: When a husband loves Jesus more than he loves his wife, he will love his wife the way he should. And when a wife respects Jesus more than she respects her husband, she will submit to her husband in the way she should. This is the only way to truly live happily ever after.
Dear Lord, thank you for the covenant of marriage and all that it represents. I understand that the responsibility I have to my spouse and my family is one that shouldn't be taken lightly. Please help me to honor the covenant I've made with my spouse and to live out my marriage in a way that points other people to You. Amen.