The Mystery of Marriage

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:25

In this passage in Ephesians chapter five, Paul refers to marriage as a “mystery.” Why is the union of a man and woman in marriage a mystery? The answer is found in verse 32 when Paul explains that the deepest meaning of marriage (as a picture of Christ and the Church) had been partially hidden until this point. Marriage is more than a physical, earthly union. It is a picture that represents something much more than a man and woman becoming one. Its deepest meaning shows how Christ and His bride relate to each other.

One of the things we learn from this mystery is the roles of husband and wife in marriage. If marriage is a metaphor for Christ and the Church, then the roles God has established are not happenstance, nor can they be changed without obscuring the whole picture. The roles of husband and wife are rooted in the roles of Christ and His Church. The way husbands and wives relate to each other in marriage is meant to say something about Christ’s relationship with His beloved.

The headship of a husband is not meant for command and control. It is, in fact, a responsibility to love like Christ. This means laying down your life for your wife with the heart of a servant leader. The purpose of leadership is for the building up of the family, not only the man.

When God designed marriage, He did so for His glory and for our good.

Dear Father, Thank You for Your good design of marriage and family. In a world that constantly seeks to malign Your model, help me to stand firm on the truth of Your Word. I pray for all Christian marriages…that we will honor You in how we relate to one another. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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