The Symbolism of Marriage II

“Our weekly article in the Northport Gazette and the West Alabama Gazette”.

Watering the Tulips


“"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:31-32)

In our previous lesson, we learned how serious the marriage bond really is. God didn’t institute marriage simply so two people in love could covenant to spend their life together. Marriage is much more than that. Marriage is a symbolic covenant. It is a picture of Christ’s relationship to His bride, the church. This is the reason God’s hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). It destroys the picture of Christ and the church.

Husbands, you picture Christ in the relationship. If you have already learned of the seriousness of getting married, this makes it even more serious. How well are you representing Christ? When your children, friends and family see the way you handle yourself as a husband, do they see a picture of Christ? If not, you have some work to do!

Remember, Jesus left all for His bride. He left Heaven’s glory to be made a little lower than the angels (Hebrews 2:9). Likewise, a husband must leave all for His bride. As far as earthly relationships are concerned, she is to be first in his life. He must love her as he loves himself (Ephesians 5:28). He must be willing to lay his life down for hers (Ephesians 5:25). When we, as husbands, fail to do these things, we fail to properly represent Christ.

Men, until you are the husband you are supposed to be, your wife cannot be what she is supposed to be.

Wives, you picture the church in the relationship. “Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:24). Surely, Jesus served the disciples in many ways and the husband ought to serve his wife as we have already taught. However, even when Christ was feeding them; even when He was washing their feet, they never lost sight that He was the Leader. He was their Head. He was the Lord and they were the disciples. Women, the men are to be the leaders in the home. You are to submit to that leadership so you can properly represent the church in the marriage relationship.

Couples, only when you fulfill your individual roles can you properly fulfill your role as a married couple. Husbands if you fail to represent Christ, the symbol is broken. Wives, if you fail to represent the church, the symbol is broken. Your responsibility in marriage is much more serious than most have ever considered. If you have chosen to get married, you are now bound to properly represent the relationship between Christ and His bride.

May we all pause today and consider how serious marriage is. Whether we are married or not, this truth is beneficial to us. To the married, we can now better serve the Lord in our marriage. We can be a better witness to a lost and dying world. To the unmarried, we will not enter in with blinders. We can see how serious marriage is. Knowing that it represents the relationship between Christ and His church, divorce should never be an option. And, it won’t be as long as both spouses properly fill their role.

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