Marriage has been on the chopping block for much of the past few years. Many within our society today want to redefine marriage to include same sex couples. More and more heterosexual couples are choosing cohabitation rather than marriage. Celebrity divorces have become a source of entertainment for the world where everyone is waiting to see whose marriage is going to unravel next. Everywhere you look or listen marriage and what it stands for is becoming muddied by our society.
Does God's design need to be redesigned? Should the definition of marriage change with the times? For the Christian, the follower of Christ, the answer is absolutely not! The culture and the trends do not determine how we view marriage. Marriage is about the gospel. It's a picture of the relationship between Christ and His church. It is a means by which the gospel can be displayed to the world. Even the roles of husbands and wives reflect the relationship between Christ and the church. God didn't plan it that way by mistake. He did it on purpose with purpose. Look at Ephesians 5: 22-23
22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband.
That's a clear picture for us of God's design for marriage. However,without the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit it is impossible for two sinners to flesh out this biblical picture of marriage. If couples desire to have a God-honoring marriage, they should first be submitted to the lordship of Jesus Christ. You can't become one if you're unequally yoked and you won't experience the full blessings of marriage outside of the biblical framework God instituted. The biblical roles of the husband and wife play a vital role not only in reflecting the relationship between Christ and the church but also in the raising of children. One of the greatest privileges of marriage is the gift of children. God's will is that we would raise our children in the discipline and instruction of His word; we ourselves must be disciplined in and receive our instruction from His word if we are to teach our children. What better context in which to teach children the gospel than within the confines of a biblical family structure. What better way to show the world the gospel than how it is fleshed out in families within local churches.
God uses marriage as a means of sanctifying us as Christian husbands and wives. God has used my marriage to expose so many sinful desires and attitudes within my heart. It's so amazing that God uses our earthly marriages to prepare us for the ultimate marriage when we the church, the bride of Christ, will be forever united with Christ! So, as a bride grooming for her wedding day, those of us who have trusted in Christ as Savior are too being prepared. May we boldly defend God's design for marriage and may we display the glories of the gospel to world in need of the gospel of Jesus Christ.