February, the month of love, is on it’s way. So what better topic to talk about in this post than marriage and how it is symbolic of what Christ has done for us. What is a Godly marriage supposed to look like? What defines a strong marriage? A good marriage? Well, let’s take a look at How To Have A Marriage that Represents the Gospel. I think that is a good place to start.
But I first want to give a shout out to the single ladies. I don’t want you feeling left out because I am talking about marriage. I want you to understand just how important your role is! It is so imperative for us married ladies to encourage our younger, single friends. Instead of badgering them about when they are going to settle down and have a family, let’s support them to live godly lives, fulfilling the plans God has for them as single women. I believe we miss out on so many opportunities to edify these young women when we fail to point them to Christ.
A Unique Opportunity
Let’s keep reminding these young women that they have the unique opportunity to live totally and fully for Christ. They can go on amazing mission adventures! They can live dangerously for God! They can do things in their singleness that we can’t do as married women.
Yeah, I love being married, but let’s not give these beautiful young ladies the wrong impression about marriage – that is the false notion that a man will fulfill you.
Contrary to what culture tell us, another human being will not ‘complete’ us. Only Jesus is able tell us the truth about who we are – only God is able to fulfill us completely. Don’t waste your time searching for a man to give you what you need. Seek the Lord for your needs, go to Him. There is nothing more beautiful than a woman who knows who she is in Christ. Ask Him what He wants you to do during this amazing time in your life – things you can’t do when you have this:
Young ladies, embrace this irreplaceable time in your life to learn to be obedient to God, to grow in your walk with Him, to love Him with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.
Seriously, you are going to have to drag that ball and chain around with you until death do you part!
Kidding aside, marriage makes the challenging and difficult times more bearable. In the summer of 2007, we went camping near Tofino. If you have ever been there, you know all about the rain. It rained…and rained more…and still rained. After 4 days, the rain finally started to get to us. One day before we were scheduled to leave, we threw all of our gear – wet tent and all, while it was pouring – into our trailer and left. Marcus was so wet; he took off his pants and drove in his underwear. There weren’t many other travellers at this time, we were thankful. As we entered Port Alberni, we noticed a police roadside check was set up. We had to stop and talk to the officer – with Marcus still in his underwear. And being the wonderful wife that I am, I took a picture.
This is marriage.
This experience was a gift from God to me for this trip – this trip was the beginning of my very long struggle with my faith. We stayed in Nanaimo and then planned to finish our trip with our original plan of camping at Chilliwack. But it just kept raining – raining so hard – that we just kept driving. We decided to just go home. I cried. There was rain our entire trip home. There were other things going on in our lives that sparked my struggle with faith, but this trip certainly did not help.
As I said, this trip was start of me really questioning my faith. So much heart ache was happening within my family. I doubted God. Did He care enough about me to fix my heart? I believed He had the power to do it, I just didn’t believe He wanted to. While I started going through this phase, Marcus, a new believer, was amazing in how he pointed me to Christ. Being so new in his faith, one would think maybe he would falter, that he would begin questioning his own faith – that I would be a stumbling block for him.
This was not so. God’s timing is always so perfect. He had built up Marcus’ faith enough so that he could help me through this period of time – which lasted a few years! Marcus constantly pointed me to the cross of Christ. He read scripture to me. He prayed for me. He was so patient with me and my struggle. He watched me as I wilted from discouragement and loss. And he also watched as God held me up – even when I didn’t see it.
He held his shield of faith over me when I couldn’t lift my own. When I was unable to wield my sword, he picked his up and fought courageously for me.
This is truly a representation of the gospel in marriage. A husband’s responsibility is to protect his wife, to care for her. As leader of the home and family, the husband must lead his wife to Christ during all struggles and during the times when life goes well. When a husband leads well, when he fulfills his role as he should, he ends up with a very happy and confident wife. I know my heart is in a safe place when Marcus is accomplishing his godly position as my husband.
Biblically, a wife is to submit to her husband. WOW, isn’t that an awful word to say in this day and age? SUBMIT – to be a submissive wife. Biblical submission is not the same as the world’s definition of submission. Being a submissive wife doesn’t mean being a doormat or permitting abusive behaviour. Godly submission never puts a woman in spiritual bondage, living with fear and shame. If a husband is requiring his wife to act against the word of God, he will indeed have to answer for that. A husband should always honor God by acting in an honourable way towards his wife. Submitting does not mean placing the will of your husband over the will of Christ. Be wise in your submission. If there is a problem here, bring to the church.
Let’s see what Biblical submission looks like. In the relationship between Christ and God, the Father, Christ is under God’s authority, He submits to the Father. This doesn’t mean Christ is less than God, He is God – Christ is the Saviour of the world! Throughout scripture, we see Him willingly submitting to the will of His Father, to the point of the worst kind of death imaginable (Read Luke 22:39). So, if my Biblical submission to Marcus reflects the glorious relationship between the Son and the Father, I will gladly submit to him…most of the time.
Let’s be honest – submission isn’t always the easiest, is it? Especially when you know you are right – and that is pretty much every time, right?
From my experience, most of the time, submitting is easier and better than allowing an issue to become a mountain of tension and disagreement. Eventually, if you were ‘right’, that will become evident. Kind of like the time when Marcus made me this awesome raised garden bed and insisted on placing it under direct shade and I wanted it in full sun. I had a choice. I could keep arguing over such a silly thing or I could submit and see what happens. I decided to let him have his way. It didn’t take long to find out that under the maple tree wasn’t the best place. We moved the garden to a better spot in full sunlight. And to think that this minuscule issue could have escalated into a huge problem in our marriage – it could have been a mountain of tension – over a garden bed. I am thankful that I submitted to him in the beginning and even more thankful that eventually, I was proven to be correct. This isn’t always the case, though. I’m not always right. I just can’t think of a story about that right now.
How have you been representing the gospel in your marriage?