New International Version (NIV)
Instructions for Christian Households21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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.24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
If marriage is a picture to the world of Christ and the Church, then why does marriage always go on the back burner?
The enemy knows this passage all too well. Statistics tell me that.
I was just listening to Mark Driscoll's message titled "Ministry Marriage." He recalled hero's in our faith and the truth behind their marriages. I have read biographies on every single person he mentioned, and while rejoicing in their obedience to preach the gospel, I thought, what about their marriages? Was ministry their idol? I think for most that he mentions the answer is yes.
People that impact and encourage me toward Christ are also those that seek to live Eph. 5 out in their marriage. They do not have a perfect marriage but marriage is their priority. Not the head knowledge kind of priority, but the "I can't do ____ (wherever it may be) because I am spending time with my spouse" kind of priority. When I hear that statement, I lean in closer every.single.time. Or "I like to spend time with my spouse." Sadly I feel that that statement is rare. And if marriage is to reflect the picture of Christ and the church, what is that saying?
If we are truly trying to convey a message to a broken world, then we best bring the message the way Christ set it up.
We strive in bible studies, meetings, groups, trips and any other organized gathering to bring the message of God's love. What if Ephesians 5 was strived for, with great priority? With the same effort and purpose we give to organizing these groups? What if we cheered each other on towards a healthy, honest marriage the way do missions or a new study from a great teacher?
I am a guilty as anyone. I can spend hours on RH work. What if I spent hours on my relationship with my husband? On just being his friend? Respecting him even when it's hard? What kind of message would that send to our children, community and world?
We are blessed to have a good marriage but hours spent planning, thinking, praying for? Um never. Sad.
I was sharing with a friend that I remember ZERO sermons from my youth pastor growing up (sorry Pastor Steve) but I do remember my youth pastors marriage. I remember how he treated her and how she treated him. I remember how they treated their children. It was beautiful and it spoke louder than his microphone.
Isn't that the case tho? We can scream to the world about love but our actions are being heard louder.
I think we have a lot of head knowledge and little practice. Marriage is not easy. Isn't that all the more reason to press in? What if marriage was ministry in our eyes?
Dating my husband = ministry. I like it!