“Each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:33
The glory of God in Christ is the ultimate aim of marriage. In Ephesians 5, when Paul addressed both husbands and wives, his exhortations always came back to Christ. “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord…” (Ephesians 5:22). “Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5:25). These references to Christ saturate the entire passage. It all comes back to displaying the glory of Christ by doing what we do in marriage, “as to the Lord.”
Most of us have never even considered that marriage exists for God more than it does for us, have we?
Walk into any Christian bookstore and you will find hundreds of resources about how to have a better marriage. And yet, biblical marriage continues to decline within the church. Why do you think this is? While books and conferences are not necessarily bad resources, we must be careful not to place them before what God’s Word says on the subject. After all, God created marriage, and is thus the Chief Expert on the matter, wouldn’t you say?
After being married for many years to the same woman, I can say with confidence that there is one important question that’s answer will, more than anything else, determine the condition of your marriage: Is Jesus the Lord of your life? In other words, are you unconditionally obedient to Him? If not, you will never have a marriage that consistently glorifies God. Such a marriage requires selfless love, humble service, and unconditional sacrifice that none of us can muster up apart from God’s grace in Christ.
Instead of focusing on our own needs, we must focus on the glory of God through our marriages. God created marriage, and He is also the only hope for marriage. If we allow it, our marriages (and the problems we experience in them) will drive us to Christ more than any other relationship on this earth.
Heavenly Father, please help me to see my marriage as a way to glorify You. Show me where I need to change and surrender to Your Lordship. In Jesus’ name, amen.