What is Marriage?
As I sit at my desk today I am preparing to perform a wedding. Sadly, that is what many in the world do PREFORM. Divorce rates are around half of all weddings and to many, marriages are less and less important unless you want a tax break. I sit and must ask myself, what went wrong? Many weddings use 1 Corinthians 13 for weddings, the love chapter many call it. This is not without a good reason as many people don’t know what love is. The issue is that marriage was made to be a deeper show of love than almost anything. That’s why really the best marriage Scripture is Ephesians 5:22-33.
“22 Wives, be submissive to your own husbands as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, just as Christ is the head and Savior of the church, which is His body. 24 But as the church submits to Christ, so also let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 and that He might present to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 In this way men ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord cares for the church. 30 For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.”[a] 32 This is a great mystery, but I am speaking about Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (MEV)
Marriage here is put plainly. It is an earthy image of Christ and the Church when at its best. The two people practicing mutual submission and love make the wedding work. A man should as Christ lead his home and be the moral, spiritual, and functional head. That said he should be submitting to his wife in the means of loving her always and striving to make her better. His commitment should be that he would die for her.
The wife like the Church should love her husband and do things for him. Her life is not to be ruled over or to rule her home. She should instead support and be supported by the husband and to make him better. Her words should matter to her husband even as prayer matters to Christ. Yet she also must be willing to let the husband lead the spiritual life of the family and trust him fully as the Church trusts God.
So why is marriage failing? It is not because of just lack of love. It is a lack of the right kind of love. The love to die for each other and to hold to each other in every storm. I want you to consider this today. If you are married, can you say your relationship is up to this standard? If not, can you make it get there? If your unmarried, can you say that you are ready to enter into this? Marriage is never to be done lightly. As the vow goes “till death do you part.” I pray your marriage present or future can reach this level of love so that when people see you and your spouse they can see Jesus dying for a Church that loves Him.