Imitating Christ Through Marriage (Part 1)

When you think of Jesus, what do you think?  Of course we have our own ideas of who Jesus is and while those opinions may be correct, we should look to the Bible to know who Jesus really is.  He is compassionate (Matthew 9:36).  He is very patient and gentle.  He is loving, truly caring for those around him.  He lived the life of a servant (Mark 10:45).  But there’s one trait that stands out in my mind, one thing we should all try to emulate…his humility.  While Jesus walked the earth, he had every opportunity to seize upon praise and recognition.  His followers even tried to make him king (John 6:15), but he wouldn’t have it.  In all that he was and all that he did in human form, Jesus was humble.  And it’s imitating the humility of Christ that leads to a wonderful marriage!

Godly Marriage
Godly Marriage

Throughout his ministry, Jesus asked his followers to do as he did.  It may be impossible to repeat the life of our perfect Savior, but mirroring his example is a great place to start.  And God has given us a great opportunity to do that through marriage.  When we decide to follow Christ, we are effectively dying to ourselves, to be more like him (Matthew 16:24-25).  And when we join ourselves with another person in marriage, we are letting go of who we could be on our own in order to become something special together.  In fact, our marriage should scream out as an example of our Christian walk.  When others look at us to see what discipleship looks like, they should easily see Jesus through our humility in marriage.

There’s no better example in all of scripture that portrays the beauty of marriage than in Ephesians 5:22-33.  I’ve never understood why some view this example as antiquated or culturally based because it describes exactly the kind of humility Jesus has.  And I fervently believe that if obeyed as it is written, this passage on marriage would absolutely change our relationships for the better.

“Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies.  He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church- for we are members of his body.  For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.  This a profound mystery- but I am talking about Christ and the church.  However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

(Ephesians 5:22-33)

Because these verses speak about both wives and husbands and Christ’s relationship with the church, I will spend several posts discussing both.  Tomorrow we will look at the Godly role of a husband, and the next day, we will examine the attributes of a humble and loving wife.  Please be sure to read all the parts of this series and be prepared to put God’s advice into practice.  Your marriage will never be the same.

-Joe

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