I went to a wedding last night. It was a rather short wedding ceremony, but it reminded me once again of one of the purposes of marriage. Paul speaks of this in his letter to the church at Ephesus (5:22-33). Paul is addressing some order issues in marriage: wives submit to your husband and husbands love your wives. For centuries this has been a topic of debate - what does this mean and what does it look like in practical terms. Paul answers this question - this profound mystery is about Christ and the church (Eph. 5:32): marriage is to look like the relationship that Jesus has with His church. The church always submits to Jesus as the head; Jesus loves the church and gives Himself for it. Interesting that there is no room for selfishness here; there is only room for sold out giving to one another.
Why should our marriages look like this? This is so hard and so counter-cultural. I believe that what Paul is trying to teach us is that marriage is an earthly picture of a heavenly reality: a visible illustration of the invisible love that Jesus has for His church. Our marriages should be SOOOOO submissive and SOOOOOO loving that people can see what the relationship between Jesus and His church looks like. It is primarily a evangelism tool to help people understand Christ!
Now I have to do something about it......
Sie note....... It is interesting to me that Jesus gave himself for the church. I often think that this was a bad investment on His part. What did He get for his investment in this relationship? A person like me, who is self centered, who doesn't really think about Him as much as I should, who doesn't serve Him with all my being. Not a great return. The picture for marriage is that: don't expect a return on investment.