Don’t you love weddings? Amidst all of the sadness and darkness of life, weddings remind us of things that make life good; love, purity, and commitment.
Sadly, couples often put more time and money into planning the perfect wedding day than they do preparing for a successful marriage. Two sinners marry and when their expectations are not met they begin to blame the other, wondering whatever happened to the person who swept them off their feet.
Statistics grimly report that the rate of divorce has increased 50% since 1960 and today the laws are set on redefining marriage altogether. It’s no surprise that marriage is under attack when we understand that the relationship between a husband and wife is powerfully linked to the story of Christ and His church. Ephesians 5:25-33 gives us a divine glimpse into this “profound mystery.”
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, His body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that He might present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
How it must grieve God to watch us arch our backs at the mere mention of submission to our husbands or the leadership of the church when His beloved Son submitted Himself to death on a cross for undeserving sinners like us.
What do we have to say about the gospel to an unbelieving and confused world when we are more concerned about defending our rights than glorifying God?
Ladies, our womanhood is ultimately not about us but about displaying the glory of God and His redemptive plan. In their book Divine Design, Nancy Leigh DeMoss and Mary Kassian explain: “Men are created to reflect the strength, love, and self-sacrifice of Christ while women are designed to reflect the responsiveness, grace, and beauty of the bride He redeemed.”
The marriage between a man and woman is designed to reflect the covenant union of Christ and His bride. No wonder there is a battle going on over gender, roles, and the very definition of what constitutes marriage.
This is a war that must be fought on our knees while proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to a world that is self-destructing home by home. It requires us to be armed with God’s truth so that we’re no longer thinking and living according to the philosophies and lies of the day.
As women, we must be aware of where we are most prone to sin, whether through nagging, manipulation, or a critical spirit. Rightly, we desire men who lead well yet, we are more likely to bring discouragement and defeat to them when we are demanding, impatient, and controlling. It is only when we put our hope in God and pray for Him to do a new work in both of us that we become joyful participants in the eternal purposes that God had for our marriage all along.
John Piper says: “Marriage is not mainly about being or staying in love. It’s mainly about telling the truth with our lives. It’s about portraying something true about Jesus Christ and the way He relates to His people. It is about showing in real life the glory of the gospel.”
And Kathy Keller adds; “Men and women both get to play the Jesus role; wives through their sacrificial submission and husbands through their sacrificial leadership.”
Our family is planning a wedding and we rejoice because this is God’s doing! As our son prepares to take a wife, we praise God for His gracious answer to the countless prayers we have lifted before the throne of grace on his behalf, and for giving us a new daughter who has fully committed her life to Christ and our son.
But more than a celebration of an earthly union, this marriage reminds us that God is planning a wedding as well!
“Let us rejoice and exult and give Him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure,” “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb” Revelation 19:7-9.
As we prepare for our son’s wedding which is only a dim reflection of this glorious wedding to come, how much more must we prepare for that glorious day when Christ returns for His bride; those He redeemed at the cost of His own blood!
If you are single, are you exalting Christ by waiting and trusting God’s best for you, setting your affections upon the one who rejoices over you? “As the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you” Isaiah 62:5b.
If you are married, are you willing to lay down your earthly expectations so that the covenant relationship of Christ and his church might be put on display? Will you encourage and help your husband be the man God created him to be by putting your hope and confidence in Christ above all?
The Good News of the gospel is that all who are clothed in the righteousness of Christ are invited to the marriage of the Lamb where we will worship Him together. Until then, let us prepare ourselves for the day when we see Him face to face! He is coming soon!
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts with you,