realize that your view of something is way smaller than it should be? Like the
moment you realize stars aren’t just little lights in the sky and the universe is much more vast and amazing
than you could have ever imagined? A few years ago, I had one of those
enlightening moments in my marriage. I always knew that marriage was pretty
great–my parents have a great marriage and my new husband and I were off to a
pretty fun start. But I’ve come to realize God designed marriage in a way that
was much more vast and amazing than I could have ever imagined.
5:22-32. “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do 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… Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church…
Husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife
loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and
care for their body, just as Christ does
the church— for we are members of his body. … This is a profound
mystery—but I am talking about Christ
and the church.”
word ‘submit’, but this passage is about more than that. God designed marriage
to display the glory of Christ’s relationship with the church.
what the heck does it mean for my everyday marriage?” I had one of those ‘ah, ha!’ moments when I
understood that actively seeking to display Christ’s relationship with the
church in my marriage would cause it to flourish, and God would receive the
glory. My marriage now has deep purpose and a game plan to follow because
though we live in a world where broken marriages are rampant, my husband and I
now have a fail proof example we are following.
relationship in my marriage, and I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of
what Christ has to offer. But here are
five ways you can start purposely living today in a way that displays Christ’s
order to emulate Christ, you need to know Him! Make it a priority to grow
together in your knowledge of who God is and how we can be like Him. And since
God is more amazing than we can possibly imagine, this will start you on a
lifetime of enjoying Him.
Think back to when you first said, ‘I do.’
Do you remember the jittery stomach, the stars in your eyes, and the
incredible feeling that your spouse was the most wonderful person in the world? Somewhere between the husband telling the
kids to pull his finger so he can fart, and the wife nagging the husband to put
his clothes in the stinkin’ laundry hamper, we stop looking at our spouses as
special. But your spouse is a valuable person made in the image of the Almighty
God. Christ’s sacrifice on the cross made the church co-heirs with Him,
children of God, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, God’s special possession.
To display Christ’s glory in your marriage, you need to view your spouse from
God’s perspective. Dwell on the importance of your spouse. Swallow your
irritation and smile at your spouse who God loves more than you can possibly
I’m not the only one who finds it easier to hold a grudge than to forgive. But, God doesn’t keep grudges, He doesn’t
wallow in bitterness and He doesn’t want us to either. Psalm 103:12 says, “As
far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from
us.” God daily covers us in grace and
has given us the power to have that kind of forgiveness in our marriage.
choices. Choose to dwell on the
forgiveness Christ has given you and pray for His strength to extend that
forgiveness to your spouse. Choose to act in a way that displays forgiveness,
even if it takes a little longer for your heart to truly feel the forgiveness.
in the heights of bitterness, I was driving down the freeway realizing I needed
to change. As tears rolled down my face, I started dwelling on God’s
forgiveness, asking Him to help me forgive, and begrudgingly praying blessings over the person I was bitter
towards. (Probably not my safest driving moment!) SLOWLY, as I did this process
over and over, God washed the bitterness away. And the freedom! Oh the freedom
it brought me! You can have that
19:26 and 28 says“…Whoever wants to become great among you must be your
servant…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and
to give His life as a ransom for many.” Little acts of service go a LONG way in
a marriage. Serving can be anything… making your spouse’s favorite dinner,
mowing the lawn, delivering the phone left at home, or picking up shoes left in
the hallway. Serving your spouse with acts of love is a beautiful reflection of
Christ’s service to us.
easy, but now that all the hard stuff is out of the way, have fun! Enjoy each
other’s company. Talk, flirt, kiss, make love. Hold hands, have family game
nights, go on dates. Treat simple errands as fun moments to hang out. “Enjoy
life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He
has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your
toil in which you have labored under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 9:9) Solomon knew
what he was talking about. God meant for
marriage to be fun, so make it a priority in your relationship.
help. I’m sure there are some of you in an enjoyable stage of marriage who will
need to put little effort into loving each other as Christ loves the church.
But for those who are feeling the crushing burden of a joyless marriage or are
butting heads over every little detail, there is a battleground waiting for
you. Pray, and don’t lose hope. There is great hope for your marriage because
looking at Christ and the church, you can be confident in the fact that Christ
is in the business of taking sinful, broken people and individually changing
them into His likeness and corporately joining them together into His unified
body. Just as Christ is accomplishing change within His church, He is working
in you and your spouse to make you more like Him and join you together as one
body. Take heart. No matter how far your
marriage has gone down the wrong path, God has the power to heal, restore, and
wife to her best friend, mom to an easy going toddler, and owner to a crazy dog. She
is awesome at making forts, building towers out of blocks and going down
slides. She is pretty good at cooking and just adequate at housework. In her pre-child
life, she worked for six years as the Children’s Education Director for
Rancho Community Church in Temecula.