This is the 7th in a series that began December 21st/13 with a post called, “Married Forever?”
Last week I ended with the statement, “I maintain that without knowing the secret of marriage that Paul describes for us in the New Testament, no marriage can reach the level of fulfillment for the couple, and glorification of Jesus that it was intended to attain.”
The Secret of Marriage? I read through the whole Bible once a year, every year. It's taken me nearly two decades to get what Paul is talking about. Not because it's such a difficult concept, but because I simply could not sink below the surface of what he was saying. Its kind of like -
Paul says clearly, “I'm talking about Christ and the Church.”
I blink my eyes and say “Huh?”
“I'm talking about Christ and the Church (the body of believers). Husbands, love your wives just as Jesus loves the Church and gave Himself up for her.”
“Oh, you're talking about Christ and the Church! . . . Huh?”
Now I get it. Then I didn't. Mostly probably because I didn't want to hear what his words meant. I've since seen that many Christian husbands don't want to get it. Paul is saying that the secret to our role in marriage is to do for our wives what Jesus did to unite all of us with Himself. He gave Himself up for us. Jesus IS the greatest Being to ever exist. He is the Creator and sustainer of life and the universe itself. And then He gave up His glory, became a human-being, died on a Roman cross and paid the penalty for our sins.
He loved us.
He served us.
He gave up His rights as Creator God so that our needs might be met.
That kind of sacrifice made possible an intimate, healed and forgiven relationship with Him and He says to us husbands, 'THAT is how to do marriage.' Jesus and the Church is what God had in mind when He ordained way back in Genesis that, “A man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one.”
That's the secret that Paul is talking about. That is what keeps Biblical marriage from being oppressive as the world imagines it to be. In Biblical marriage the husband, under Christ, is the Spiritual Leader of the home. As such, the husband gives himself up and models for the family:
. Gentleness and
Because God had this picture of salvation in mind when He instituted marriage between man and woman, the marriage can only be successful when each partner loves the other in a self-giving love.
Jesus said, “I did not come to be served but serve and to give My life . . .”
I often tell people (Christians) whose marriage is struggling, “If you try to fix this marriage, you will fail. If instead, you focus solely on repairing your relationship with Jesus (not your partner's relationship but your relationship), loving Him and obeying Him, the restoration of your marriage will follow as naturally as dawn follows the dark.”
Do for your spouse, what Jesus did for you and your marriage cannot fail.
More on this next Friday.