Watering the Tulips
November 28, 2012
“This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church” – Ephesians 5:32
It would serve our readers well to read this entire passage (Ephesians 5:22-33). To many, this verse will seem out of place. However, the verse before us today is the key to understanding this entire passage about marriage.
The bond of marriage is far more than an agreement between a man and wife to love one another for the rest of their lives. Perhaps if this were the only purpose, one could understand the flippant attitude of many towards the institution in our day and age. But our text verse makes marriage a far more serious venture when rightly understood. Simply, the relationship between a husband and a wife is to be a picture of the relationship of our Lord Jesus and His Bride.
Notice the instructions to the wife in the passage before us. “Wives, submit to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (vss. 22-24). What a high calling! Ladies, your part of the marriage relationship is to represent the Lord’s Bride to all who see you. Take note of how your marital instructions parallel the instructions to the Lord’s churches.
If the instructions to the wife weren’t enough, notice the instructions to the husband. “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church…So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church” (vss. 25-29). Men, before all onlookers, you are to represent our Lord in the marriage relationship. This is seen plainly in the passage before us.
After these instructions, the Scripture says, “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (vs. 31). You see, when two people enter into the marriage covenant, they are agreeing to more than to stay together “’til death do us part”. They are agreeing to properly represent the relationship between Jesus and His Bride. Is there any wonder why God hates divorce (Mal. 2:16)? When a man and woman break the marriage bond, they destroy the picture of Jesus and His Bride who will never be severed.
If only our generation realized the seriousness of marriage. Men, just as Christ gently led by love, so you are to do. Women, just as the early churches committed to follow, so you are to do. In all that you do, remember the picture that others are to see from your marriage. If we seek to do this daily, our marriages will thrive just as the relationship between Jesus and His Bride will eternally thrive.
Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereigngrace.net. “Your App to the Gospel” is available the iTunes app store as well as Google Play. Please download it today!