The Example of Christ: The Hope for Every Marriage


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When it comes down to marriage, we must understand that we are dealing with an impossible situation; that to make a marriage work is one of the most difficult things to do on this earth. Psalm 127:1 comes to mind, “Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.” I add, unless God is in our marriage, our marriage will not be successful in His standards of success.

In a previous article entitle, The Value of a Marriage that Sucks I spoke about two ingredients that are needed for a successful marriage. The husband is to bring unconditional love for his wife and the wife is to bring respect for her husband. These two ingredients formed a glue a thousand times stronger than the Gorilla Glue.

In order to understand marriage, we must take a look at Jesus; we must take a look at the gospel. In the marriage, the husband represents Jesus and the wife represents the church. The Bible describes the husband’s function in the marriage as the head of the wife (Ephesians 5:23). On the other hand, the Bible encourages wives to look to their husbands as if they are Jesus themselves. Ephesians 5:22 tells us, “Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord.” (NASB) The Bible also tells us, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,” Ephesians 5:25 (NASB)

To be able to understand the dynamic of marriage we must look at Jesus and his example. Jesus gave his life for the church before the church even existed and before we surrendered our lives to him. Jesus demonstrated Agape love by giving us his all, without receiving ANYTHING in return. What about the wife? How can we expect the  wives to respect their imperfect husbands? Well, Jesus have a thing or two to say about this also. In Hebrew 5:8 the Bible tells us about Jesus, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” (NASB) Obedience will bring forth suffering. The Bible tells us that Jesus truly started subjecting to his parents at 12 years of age,

“Now His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover.42 And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; 43 and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. But His parents were unaware of it,44 but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day’s journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. 45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem looking for Him. 46 Then, after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. 48 When they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, Your father and I have been anxiously looking for You.” 49 And He said to them, “Why is it that you were looking for Me? Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. 51 And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.” Luke 2:41-51 (NASB).

This word “subjection” is the same word used for wives in their relationship with their husbands; it is the Greek word, “hupotássō meaning “To place in order. To place under in an orderly fashion.”[1] If Jesus, the Lord of lord, the King of kings and all-knowing submitted himself to his imperfect parents; how can wives not submit to their imperfect husband? On the other hand, if husbands want to learn how to love their wives, even when they are disrespectful; look at Jesus… He did it and continue to do it for the church. Through HIM is possible. Is all there, is all possible… through Jesus!

 

 

 

[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

 

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