Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Marriage series #11: The Mystery

The oneness of a husband and his wife in the marriage relationship; as well as the oneness of Christ and His relationship with His Church are both amazing, awesome parallel mysteries that only a Christian can understand and appreciate. The more you meditate on this, the more God reveals to you. The deeper your intimate relationship with Christ; the more capacity you have for intimacy with your wife and the more you bow in wonder, amazement and worship as you consider this parallel relationship: Christ and His Church and you and your spouse.

Humility and servanthood
Read again Ephesians 5:25 to see how the doctrine of Christ and His Church is related to our relationship with our spouse. What does Christ's love for His Church teach us as husbands? It teaches us humility and servanthood toward our wives. Philippians 2:5-8 It teaches us a willingness to give up our rights, our glory and our dignity and a willingness to suffer and die for our wives. Our primary concern is the good of our wives. Their needs, their satisfaction and their happiness affect all our decisions. Our own needs and desires pale into insignificance.

Love your enemies and love your wife!
When do we show love for our wives? We show Christ's love in good times and bad times; when they are happy and content and when they are upset and angry. After all, if Christ commands us to love our enemies and do good to them, don't you think we ought to be able to show Christ's love to our wives? In fact, when they are upset with us is the very time our love for them should be most evident.

Spots and wrinkles
How does Christ presently love us as Christians? We know He died and rose again for us, so we could be forgiven and cleansed from the guilt of sin; but Christ does more for us.. According to Ephesians 5:25-27 He loved us and gave Himself for us that He might sanctify and cleanse and perfect us by ridding us of moral spots and wrinkles and present us to Himself a glorious church, holy and without blemish. Paul teaches us in Philippians 1:6 that what God begins, He is able to complete.

So husbands are to love their wives, in spite of their spots and blemishes and wrinkles. Husbands are commanded in Colossians 3:19 :"Husbands, love your wives and be not bitter against them" Don't chide them about their faults. That only intensifies problems. Jesus teaches us in Matthew 7:3-5 to work on our own faults first. Then we will have the humility and wisdom and gentleness to help them with their needs.

Can we really change our mate?
Perhaps you are wondering whether this will really work. Can I really change my wife and rid her of her spots and blemishes? Let me ask you a parallel questions. Is Christ going to be successful in cleansing us of our spots and blemishes? Absolutely! Sanctification is not ultimately our decision; it is Christ's decision. You ARE going to be sanctified just as surely as you are justified and just as surely as you will one day be glorified in Heaven. Philippians 3:20-21 He accomplishes sanctification by His Word and through the work of the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:26, John 15:3 John 17:17 Christ will even use suffering to accomplish his purpose in our lives. Hebrews 12:2-11

Now think about this. If Christ is going to be successful in loving us to holiness and perfection, and HE WILL be successful; and if His love for His Church is an example to husbands as to how to love our wives; then we can also be certain of success as husbands. We can so love and cherish our wives that the character flaws will gradually fade away and we can be used of God to help them develop those qualities that make them truly beautiful. Of course, that process all begins as we expose ourselves to God's Word and allow Him to work in our lives and rid ourselves of our own character flaws. As we pray and read God's Word together with our wives, He will do the work of cleansing and beautification

Are you getting the big picture of Ephesians 5? Our ability to love our wives rests on our surrender to Christ, and being filled with the Spirit and progressing in sanctification. Wives, your ability to live a joyful, thankful, submissive life with your husband rests on your surrender to Christ and being filled with the Spirit and your own progress in sanctification. A happy, successful marriage is totally related to our progress in sanctification and holiness. That's why most Christians just need Biblical preaching far more than they need marriage counseling. God, the author and designer of marriage has the answers in His Word for every marriage problem. He who is the author and finisher of your Faith is the author and finisher of your marriage.

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March 20, 2006 - Posted by | Marriage Series

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