Read: Ephesians 5:21-33
. . . as Christ loved the church . . . (v. 25)
Our youth group was once pressed into service for an extravagant wedding feast. We did it as a mission fundraiser. The celebration exceeded any wedding I have ever attended. More than 300 people enjoyed a night of hors d’oeuvres, a sit-down meal, and festivities for all. It has stayed in my memory as the perfect example of a great wedding. While a great wedding can’t predict the success of a marriage, many couples invest more energy in preparing for a day than for a lifetime together. Marriage is so much more than a wedding.
Christian marriage can reveal something about God as we live out love with grace and truth, and wait in hope for Christ’s return. Meanwhile, this self-giving love can also grow healthy families (6:1-4) and workplaces (6:5-9). Such relationships point to Jesus. Christ’s sacrificial love for his bride, the church, becomes the model for our lives in how we can treat others and how communities can flourish.
How can two imperfect people build a marriage like that? Ephesians 5:21 is the key to all our relationships: “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” Mutual submission is the essence of Christian community in marriage, family, church, and neighborhood. In The Meaning of Marriage, Pastor Timothy Keller writes that marriage is “two flawed people coming together to create a space of stability, love and consolation—a ‘haven in a heartless world.’” Our world certainly needs more havens like this. —Jon Opgenorth
As you pray, ask God to bless marriages with Christlike humility.
About the Author
Rev. Jon Opgenorth serves as president of Words of Hope. Previously, he served for 18 years as senior pastor at Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, Iowa. In preparation for ministry, he received a BA in Religion from Northwestern College, and an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary.