Christ has commanded His followers to love His bride. Honestly, a great gauge on whether we love Christ at all is whether we love His people. Christ’s love for His bride is illustrated in a Christ-centered marriage
Our Creator lays a beautiful foundation to display His image through the marital unit, as husband and wife fulfill their roles.
The Christian Marriage: An Illustration of Christ and the Church
Our Purpose in Marriage is to mirror God’s image. After God created the earth and the animals, He said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
The account continues, “God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:26-27). Starting with creation we can see God’s plan for marriage unfold with the first couple—Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:18-3:24).
God’s first purpose for creating man and woman and joining them in marriage was to mirror His image on planet earth.
The Hebrew word for “mirror” means to reflect God, to magnify, exalt, and glorify Him. Your marriage should reflect God’s image to a world that desperately needs to see who He is. Because we’re created in the image of God, people who wouldn’t otherwise know what God is like should be able to look at us and get a glimpse, especially as we fulfill the roles God has given us as man and woman.
· Ephesians 5:25-30 says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.”
According to scripture, husbands are to lead and care for their wives in a way that protects her spirit, heart, and body just as Christ does for us. The husband leads his wife by providing wise, godly direction for her and his entire family. Remember, true leadership is service oriented like Christ, a servant leader (Mk. 10:42-45).
· Ephesians continues with, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands” (Ephesians 5:22-24).
Wives are to place themselves willingly under the authority and direction of the person whom God has placed as a leader over her! Biblical Submission involves the heart and includes a wife’s attitude, not merely actions! Allowing her husband to lead her as head of the household is a gift to practice submission and respect to Christ.
The roles God gave husbands and wives in a marriage show the relationship of Christ and his Bride to the watching…lost…world! That is why we must understand and be ready to give an answer why lust, homosexuality, and cohabitation are not God’s best. Beyond even the truth that God wants His children to flourish as HE KNOWS BEST, the picture of marriage shows us the Redemption Story—a loving God (Husband) pursuing a people (the Church, the Bride) to covenant with Him for Eternity!
God’s call to love His Church is a command. Remember, a great gauge on whether we love Christ at all is whether we love His people, the Church.