God’s gift of marriage mirrors Christ’s love for his church
By Keith Ross
Editor’s Note: Guest columnist, the Rev. Keith Ross, explains the biblical view of marriage.
The Bible depicts marriage as the symbolism of Jesus and the church. The church is not a building; she is the corporate body of all people (past, present, and future) that have faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that a biblical marriage is one that consists of submission, sacrifice, and stability just as Jesus fulfills in our relationship with Him.
Ephesians chapter five shares instructions for husbands and wives when interacting with one another. Wives are instructed to submit to their husbands, and husbands are instructed to love their wives as Christ loves the church. First Corinthians chapter seven elaborates that husbands and wives are to show due benevolence to each other. These instructions are not meant to stand alone. It requires obedience from both participants for a marriage to be successful. As it is commonly said “it takes two to marry and one to destroy a marriage.” To see the perspective intended in the passage, we must consider Jesus’ passion. Jesus submitted himself to the church. He left the splendor of Heaven and put on the flesh of humanity to live 33 years on Earth in order to teach us how to live. He endured torture and ultimately gave His life on the cross to give His bride eternal life. The example Jesus set shows us the true picture of love. Love is fulfilled when we deny the things we desire for the best interests of our spouse.
For a marriage to be biblically based, spouses must also learn to sacrifice. Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice to deliver reconciliation and forgiveness to a world in need of both. Due to Jesus’ sacrifice a true believer in Him, once converted, sacrifices their life to serve Him. Marriage requires two spouses that will sacrifice for each other. In marriage we must always be willing to do without so our spouse can have. Most often we think in a physical sense, but it is commonly more of an egotistical struggle. Pride can creep in and destroy the relationship between a man and a woman. True sacrifice is when spouses are quick to reconciliation and forgiveness.
One of the greatest promises in the Bible is that God will never leave us nor forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). It is comforting to wake up in the morning and look at the sunrise and know that God, who created the world, is also caring for us. It is reassuring to know when we go to sleep at night the One who spoke the world into existence is watching over our soul. The greatest gift we can give to our spouse is comfort and reassurance that they can trust in our faithfulness. Our world is dominated by the “Hollywood” philosophy of relationships which depicts monogamous relationships as “settling;” but true love is not one person being with many partners. True love is when one person is devoted to one person for a lifetime.
God has blessed us with the gift of marriage because, as recorded in Genesis, He saw that alone we were incomplete. It is crucial that we learn to be submissive, to sacrifice and to have stability in our marriage if our goal is to have a successful biblical marriage. These behaviors all start by having a heart that is right with God and a home that is founded on God. My prayer each day is that I represent the Lord well in all I do. This is the basis for how I love my wife.
The Rev. Keith Ross is a local pastor (not currently serving a church) and ministers through Joy in Him Ministries. He is also a member at Broadway Baptist Church in Maryville. Most importantly, he is married to Starr Hudson Ross. He can be reached at (firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can like Joy in Him Ministries on Facebook.