“I made something for you,” my seven-year-old son proudly exclaimed.
“What is it, buddy?”
“I made you Adam and Eve out of Legos. I’ll put the Eve on your nightstand and Adam on dad’s.”
“Sounds great, buddy. Thank you for making those for us!”
My mind pondered Adam and Eve after last night’s conversation with my son. Why did God create them and what is God’s purpose for marriage? In today’s society, marriage no longer means one man and one woman, couples live together before (or instead) of becoming husband and wife, and women are encouraged to and celebrated for not taking a submissive role.
But God has a deeper meaning of marriage than what this world advocates.
God’s Word reveals that the purpose of marriage is to reflect Christ and the Church,
For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. ~ Ephesians 5:23-24
When a husband is doing his part and loving his bride sacrificially, it will show this broken world a glimpse of the love that motivated our Savior to the Cross. When the wife is putting herself under her husband’s authority, she is demonstrating how the Church yields to Christ.
The impact of that kind of husband-and-wife relationship will win more souls to Jesus than a thousand sermons ever will.
The Bible begins with God creating this world, and then shortly thereafter He performs the first wedding ceremony between Adam and Eve. Before the fall, before this world began to self-destruct, God knew we needed a picture that pointed us to Him. We need Jesus, and the institution of marriage is a powerful tool that helps us see Him. It was no accident, and there is nothing outdated about it. The design and purpose of marriage, from the beginning of time, is to portray Christ and the Church. Isn’t that beautiful?!
Marriage is a threat to the Evil One which is why he has been attacking it since the Garden of Eden!
He’s meddled with the definition and messed up the order and guidelines the Lord clearly established. Satan wants us to believe that marriage is about us, our happiness, and finding our soul mate. But God has a much deeper meaning of marriage that is, as the Apostle Paul says in Ephesians 5:32, is a “profound mystery.”
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. ~ Ephesians 5:31-32
When wives try to lead their husbands, we malign the picture our marriages are supposed to display. The Church cannot lead Christ anywhere. It isn’t our role to rule or lead our Savior. The Church cannot manipulate or control Christ to get our way. Instead, with gratitude and joy, we surrender our will to and leave sin to follow where Christ leads. As wives, we are not created to be doormats or silent “Stepford Wives,” but we are to model Biblical submission.
When husbands take a passive role, they are advocating their God-given duty. Husbands are to serve, sacrifice, lead, and accept responsibility for the conduct of their homes. Christ led well during His time on this earth; His Spirit is still leading His followers today. That is the model husbands should follow when leading their brides.
This topic ruffles many feathers, and that is normal. Remember, Satan doesn’t want us living out these roles and thus distorts our views and whispers lies about “our rights.” Yet, God’s ways are eternal, holy, perfect, and purposeful. We must fight our flesh when we want to control or be passive.
The deeper meaning of marriage has nothing to do with you or your rights.
It has everything to do with God and His Glory.
- There will always be a need for the institution of marriage. Co-habitation does not model Christ’s sacrificial love.
- No earthly definition of marriage can ever negate God’s Word. There must be a husband and a wife to portray Christ and the Church accurately.
- Despite our personal preferences, men are called to lead, and women to submit. These are valuable, eternal roles that should not be quickly forgotten or undervalued.
God’s deeper meaning of marriage is unmistakable, and that is the standard Christ followers should strive to attain. We cannot let society, culture, or influential people convince us otherwise. I’m so thankful for the Cross because Christ offers us grace each time we fail (no one will get the roles right all the time). If you aren’t living up to your Scriptural role, make the changes necessary. If your husband isn’t living up to his, pray for him and don’t allow his disobedience to be your excuse to disobey. This is a tricky topic, but it is so necessary to grasp the purpose of our roles because our marriages display Christ and the Church!
Where do you struggle living out God’s deeper meaning of marriage?