I have been married for 18 years, and let me just say that I never considered how my relationship does or does not reflect Christ or the gospel. I think too often I bank on the fact that just staying married in today’s society is enough to show my faith. But really, is just staying married enough? Is this really what God had in mind for marriage?
We all know that the definition of marriage is a hot topic. We, Christians, are up in arms over our Government’s new definition of marriage and a line has been drawn between us and them. It is hard for me to even get on Facebook or social media anymore because I either come away angry or grieved at the lack of concern or desire to follow the Word of God. Many of those professing to be Christians, Christ followers, are not only not following Christ, they don’t really feel like they have to considering it is “all about that Grace, about that Grace.” Most don’t understand how Christ really loved and continues to love but they sure think they do.
I can’t help but think this is somehow our (Christians) fault.
Say what? How can this be our fault?
Well, here we are defending God’s definition of marriage; yet, most of our own marriages don’t stand up to God’s definition.
The divorce rate among Christian is almost just as high as the national average. So,yes, I may be a little old-fashioned, but I strongly believe that when the church got laxed regarding divorce, it gave the devil a foothold. Yes, it really is a slippery slope. But divorce is not the only problem in Christian marriages. My own experiences in my marriage and in others around me has shown a great problem with role reversal. Women are not only the head of most households, they demand to be. I have seen my share of wimpy men and it is disheartening. Now, don’t get me wrong there are still many women who are dominated by abusive and controlling husbands. None of these things are good, nor was it God’s plan for our marriages.
So, then, what was God’s plan for marriage?
This is not an easy answer or one to be wrapped up in on short blog post. Rather, it will take us a few days here to get the whole picture, but today I wanted to share with you a new perspective on marriage that has me reeling.
As many of you are well aware of, I am reading the book Counter Culture by David Platt. This book is honestly one of the best Christian books I have read in a very long time and is full of life changing revelations from serving the poor, battling sex slavery, defending traditional marriage,and much more. In one simple statement, he changed how I viewed not only my marriage but all marriages:
“His [God’s} intent from the start was to illustrate his love for people [through marriage].”
Really, my marriage is designed to be a reflection of God’s love? Yikes. That is eye-opening and scary.
[Now, we will be breaking this down over the next few days, but in a nutshell, here’s how this works:]
Ephesians 5:23-24 (NKJ): For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.
Marriage is designed to be an exact replica of the relationship between Christ and the Church in the way that husbands are to love their wives as God loves the church and wives are to love their husband’s the way the church loves Christ.
God established marriage at the beginning of creation to be one of the primary means by which he illustrates the gospel before a watching world. As husbands sacrifice their lives for the sake of their wives-loving, leading, serving, protecting,and providing for them-the world will get a glimpse of God’s grace. Sinners will see that Christ has gone to a cross where he has suffered, bled, and died for them, that they might experience eternal salvation through submission to him.
They will also see in a wife’s relationship to her husband that such submission is not a burden to bear. Onlookers will observe a wife joyfully and continually experiencing her husband’s sacrificial love for her and then gladly and spontaneously submitting in selfless love to him. In this visible representation of the gospel, the world will realize that following Christ is not a matter of duty. Instead, it is a means to a full eternal, and absolute delight (C.C. p. 143).
In terms that hit a little closer to home:
If you disrespect your husband, you show the world that the church has no respect for Christ. If you do not pursue your husband, you show the world that Christ is not worth following. If you sleep around on your husband, you show the world that Christ is not satisfying enough for His people (p.150).
My eyes have been opened regarding my marriage. In all honesty, my marriage is not a great testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is definitely something that needs to change. My marriage is not just about me and my husband or my family. It is a reflection of the gospel of Christ and we need to act accordingly.
Join me this week as we look at God’s definition and plan for marriage.
Until tomorrow, stay safe and God’s bless,