Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Ebb and Flow of Marriage and How it Reflects the Cross


The union of biblical marriage is a covenant union that is suppose to reflect the relationship of Christ and His church to the world. Only with one man and one woman can the complete image of God be reflected because He made us different in His image and together we make a more complete picture.

Yet the representation of Christ and His church or His bride is the other picture marriage represents. Ephesians five tells us how a husband is to love his wife as Christ loves the church. I ponder this. That is a huge command. Christ loved His bride to the death. He left the perfect union of the Trinity, the perfect dance of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit, to pursue His people, His bride. He left that union and put on flesh. He willingly came limiting Himself to be like us to live the perfect sinless life we could never live. To trade places with us by being the perfect sacrifice. This is love. Unselfish, get nothing in return, lay down your life for another love. When we had nothing to offer He pursues us. He loves us. He never lets us go. How can a mere man do this in his marriage? How can he be that picture of love to his wife to reflect this beautiful picture to a dying world?

Then in Ephesians it says the wife is to submit to her husband. This is her role in marriage to reflect Christ and His church to the world. This too is difficult. Again, it is like Jesus giving everything up for us. He submits perfectly to the Father, He does not argue but does His mission submitting to even death on the cross. He is the perfect example of denial of self for another and that is perfect submission. He fully trusts the Father and His plan. He submits to it. There is perfect love and submission in this relationship. Marriage is the earthly tool to reflect this to a dying world. But how?

When my husband is not loving me well it makes me so sad. However, I can chose to run to the cross. I run to the only One who can love me perfectly and rest in His perfect love for me. I pray for my husband that he can learn to love better. Only by looking at Christ and seeing His example and meditating on His love for us can you love well. I pray for His relationship with Christ. I trust God will move in my husbands heart but in the meantime let the Lover of my soul fill that void. My husband was never meant to.

When my husband loves me well and it is blissful, I turn my eyes to Christ in thanksgiving! For this love I receive from him is only a sweet glimpse of the the greater love Christ has for me. For a brief moment I get to experience a glimpse of that love through my husband and I am grateful. I pray and ask God not to allow me to make my husband into an idol. Again, he is not meant to fill that deeper void that only God and His great love can fill.

When I think of love and submission I am in awe of Christ and how He did these both perfectly. When in marriage we do them well we get to walk in His shoes a bit. Only can we do these things well when we are confident of His amazing and unstoppable love for us. It is easier to love well or submit when we know we are fully loved. Again, I am in awe of God and His great plan for biblical marriage. How He uses sinners like me to reflect Himself to the world. We will not do it perfectly but we are hopeful in the One who is perfect who by laying His life down made us perfect in this not yet but coming soon kind of way.

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