She sat across the table from me, stirring her cup of tea, a wistful look in her eye. Finally, she blurted, “I wish I had a marriage like yours.” My darling friend, if you only knew the truth. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this. It isn’t the first time my marriage has been caught in the trap of comparison. People see the results of over 18 years of hard work, pain, joy, and learning. Yeah, Marcus and I have a rock solid marriage. And it certainly isn’t because we’ve had good role models for marriage. Except for one. Once we learned – and applied – this fundamental truth for a holy and happy marriage, we were well on our way to a rock solid marriage. So, if you long for a healthy marriage, Don’t Wish For A Marriage Like Mine. Instead, discover the essential truth that totally transformed our marriage.
The first few years of marriage were rocky. When Marcus thinks about those years, he laughingly quips, “I knew nothing back then!” And he is right…I didn’t either! We were both incredibly broken people – one unbeliever and one trying to be a believer the best she could. If we had only known then what we know now, we would have saved ourselves a lot of heartache. So, what should you be aiming for in your marriage? What example should you be following? The answer is pretty simple…but often ignored or overlooked.
Reflect Christ’s Love For The Church
The perfect example for our marriages is given to us through the example of Jesus Christ. Imagine what the world would look like if more couples loved like this. Real, sacrificial love. If we looked out for the best interest of our spouse. And if husbands never treated their wives harshly. If wives respected and honored their husbands.
What if we approached our marriage with the idea of presenting our spouse to God with spot or wrinkle? Meaning that we treat each other in such a manner that we do not cause the other to stumble. What if we covered each other in the word of God?
When Marcus became a follower of Christ, he took this passage to heart. He understood his role as husband and he continues to strive to present me to God in such an honorable way. This was his example.
Reflect The Church’s Submission To Christ
Uh-Oh…I said the ‘s’ word! Submission! Are you squirming? Are you ready to click that little x in the corner? If you are, then I don’t think you have the right idea about what Biblical submission is. This likely stems from a very poor example of ‘submission’.
To get a healthy view of Biblical submission, let’s take a look at the perfect example of it. Jesus and His Father. Jesus submitted to His Father’s will, even to death on a cross – the most inhumane way to die. He didn’t want to die on the cross.
Jesus knew all about what was going to happen to Him. He asked for another way. There wasn’t one. Our salvation required the perfect sacrifice. And because of His love for us, He submitted to the will of the Father.
What is us wives submitted to our husbands out of our love for them. True submission isn’t done begrudgingly. It is done joyfully and out of love. Jesus is our example.
Submitting joyfully to our husbands is submitting to Christ’s authority.
Coming Full Circle
When we both realized these truths, our marriage grew strong, nurturing and on the solid rock of Christ. Both attitudes – of selfless love and joyful submission – compliment each other. They work harmoniously together. Sure, a wife can be submissive to her husband without him loving her like Christ. And a husband can love his wife like that without her submitting to him. However, the lack of unity would make it challenging to maintain a healthy marriage and almost impossible to strengthen a marriage with.
That is why those commands are always together. They aren’t meant to be stand alone verses. Love and submission make marriage a team effort.
This doesn’t mean that we should not listen to Godly wisdom and advice from trusted believers who display the fruit of the Holy Spirit. But our marriages ultimately must be modeled after our Savior.
I know there are so many marriages out there where this idea seems beyond reach. So much hurt and pain have piled up and the idea of reflecting Christ and the Church in your marriage feels like an impossible endeavor. If this is you, can I encourage your broken heart with this truth: God honors the faithful heart. He does. I’ve seen the miracle of this truth. My friend, Becky Hallberg is evidence of this truth. She has been through some horrific things in her marriage. Things that are unfathomable. But God…has shown Himself faithful to her because she has remained faithful in her role as a wife. My friend, if this feels like a page out of your life, please head over to her blog for wisdom, encouragement, and comfort.
And as always, if I can pray for you and your marriage in any way, drop me a message through the contact box in the right margin.
How can you encourage friends to follow the example of Jesus Christ and the Church?
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