MM00033 Marriage, a Divine mystery
Mentoring Manna: Marriage, a divine mystery
© 2003 Pastor Keith Hassell
Ephesians 5:31-33 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” When God ordained marriage, He ordained a model to illustrate the relationship between Christ and the church. Christian marriage is intended to reflect the nature of this relationship that Paul calls “a mystery.” This mystery is being revealed now but will be completely manifested at Christ’s second coming for His bride: “Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” (Revelation 19:7) When husbands and wives lose sight of God’s purpose and design for marriage, it becomes difficult for them to truly understand, appreciate, and enjoy their individual roles. God designed and ordained marriage at creation and pronounced His blessing upon it at that time. Marriage lived according to God’s purpose and design automatically experiences God’s blessings. Satan has come to distort, damage, and destroy marriages so that people will misunderstand and reject God’s purpose and design. In Ephesians 5:22-33 Paul attempts to unveil part of God’s mystery in marriage. In this mystery, he compares the wife to the church and the husband to Christ. As Christ is head over the church, even so the husband is to be the head over the wife. The husband is to use his headship to love and serve his wife. The wife is to walk in submission to demonstrate honor and respect for her husband---not necessarily for the person, but his position in God’s design. The idea of “headship” in marriage is not an indication of superiority but of the husband’s office, position, and function. This does not make him superior but only more responsible and accountable to God. For instance, our President fills the head position of leadership in our country. It matters not whether we like him or agree with him. In order for our country to remain strong and function properly, its citizens must recognize, honor, and submit to him because of the office he holds. His position does not make him more precious in the sight of God. Neither does the principle of submission require us to disobey God in order to submit to immoral or unjust demands made by leadership. Our President is responsible to use his position, office, and function to serve the citizens of our country. Good and godly leaders know that they are responsible and accountable to God. Citizens are responsible before God to honor and respect their leaders. So is the relationship between a husband and a wife. Marriage is about more than headship and submission. It is about more than romantic love between a husband and wife. It is about relationship. It is about love, service, and giving. It is about nourishing and cherishing. It is about maturity, holiness, and lifting up. It is about honor and respect. It is about presentation and glory. It is about ruling and reigning together in the grace of life. Marriage is intended to be an earthly portrayal of the heavenly mystery between Christ and His church.
Application: Christians should seek to portray God’s purpose and design for marriage in the church and before unbelievers. Sadly, many Christian marriages today portray the exact opposite. They are filled with strife, division, and even divorce. Jesus said that divorce happens because of the hardness of people’s hearts. God doesn’t make bad marriages: people do. Selfishness, self-centeredness, stubbornness, unforgiveness, and pride are the cancers of the heart that distort and destroy marriage. From the beginning God blessed marriage and said it was good. God intended that marriage be a blessing to a man and woman. However, marriage can only be blessed as we follow the Owner’s manual, the Bible. Make sure your marriage is operating according to God’s word. Allow your marriage to become a glorious example of the mystery between Christ and His church.
Prayer: “Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your purpose and plan for marriage. I believe that You have designed it, ordained it, and given us instructions in Your word on how to insure its success. I commit today to follow Your word on marriage. I ask that You give me the grace to exhibit before others a true example of the glorious mystery between Christ and the church. I thank You for this in Jesus’ name. Amen.”
Grace Fellowship P.O. Box 260 Rusk, Texas 75785 (903) 683-6550
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