“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Ephesians 5:21
Biblically speaking there are three human institutions that stand apart from all others: The family, the Church, and the State. God could have created any one of those first, but He started with marriage and the reason goes back to the very beginning. From the beginning of time, God injected the bloodstream of humanity with the DNA of relationships. God created us in such a way that our lives are meant to revolve around two primary relationships: Our vertical relationship with God and our horizontal relationships with others. He did it in that order.
Why did God create Adam alone first? Why not create Adam and Eve at the same time? He wanted man’s primary relationship to be first with Him. God modeled this for us in Adam. He then gave him a wife, because God wanted man’s second relationship to be family. Adam and Eve produced the first child. God was making a statement. What was that statement? Marriage is the foundation of the family. The family is the foundation of the community. The community is the foundation of the state. The state is the foundation of the nation. Happy marriages bring strength, stability, and serenity to a nation.
So what are the keys that will unlock the door to a happy marriage? Believe it or not, there are only two. Happy marriages are made up of two people: A happy husband and a happy wife. The question is: How can both of them be happy in marriage? The answer is not a mystery. God has told us what it takes for a wife and a husband to be happy and to make each other happy.
In the midst of a culture wracked with divorce, infidelity, and prostitution, God spoke His truth regarding marriage through the Apostle Paul nearly 2,000 years ago. His letter, called Ephesians, contains God’s prescription for a happy marriage. This prescription requires full dependence on Christ from both the husband and the wife. Neither can fulfill their God-given roles in marriage without His help through the Holy Spirit. God prefaces the explanation of these roles with this command: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” The foundation for a happy marriage is a willingness to submit to one another…to consider the other before you. And the willingness to love in this way is borne from a reverence for God and His Word.
Dear Lord, teach me to submit to those you have placed over me. Give me a spirit of thankfulness as I strive to serve those around me. Thank you Jesus for submitting yourself to the Father, even submitting to death on a cross for me. Amen.