The Mystery of Marriage
This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Eph. 5:32
Earthly marriages are built after the pattern of the Heavenly… even though by all appearances Adam & Eve’s marriage came before Christ & the church. This is the mystery – that our earthly marriage relationships remind us of our responsibilities and roles while reflecting into our souls the love of God for His people.
Husbands: He finds joy in his wife’s beauty & splendor. But what if he’s lost sight of her beauty? He can still enjoy life and marriage by NOURISHING & CHERISHING her - just like Christ does to believers. He should take his cues from Christ… with humble service, loving leadership, and by being self-sacrificing.
Wives: She finds joy in her husband’s joy in her. But what if he doesn’t treat her like a princess? She will enjoy life by TRUSTING & HONORING him – just like believers do to Christ, especially as she takes her cues from the church… having a disposition to yield, an inclination to follow.
Complementarianism (from the word ‘complete’) is a balance between 2 extremes:
1-Chauvinism – men are superior; women are treated as property (middle-eastern)
2-Egalitarianism – women are more evolved; men are lacking (today’s ultra-feminism)
*If I need to get in touch w/ my feminine side, shouldn’t my wife try her masculine side too?
Although we believe in the headship of husband, we understand this not to be supremacy in thought, emotion, or deed. Headship must follow the pattern of the Trinity (where Christ positioned Himself under the Father, yet no less valuable or powerful or worthy).
And we should not neglect how the curse (Genesis 3) affected marriage. It has turned us inward and selfish. Men are too often hostile, dominators or lazy, indifferent pacifists. Women are often cursed with subtle manipulative or insubordinate stubbornness.
What Men & Women Need
Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:32-33
Ladies: Men need RESPECT – affirmation, service, intimacy - it’s like air to them
Men: Women need LOVE – presence, listening, affection - they can’t live w/o it!
Christ loves the church as His bride, as His own body
He desires a beautiful, pure church – one glorious and full of splendor
So He loves us like He loves Himself – and by seeing our joy, He is happy
It is not wrong to desire a beautiful bride – so love her into beauty (as Christ does)
Love her, seek her joy & then you will be happy (Book: ‘Do yourself a favor, love your wife’)
“Pursue your JOY in the holy JOY of your spouse.” - J. Piper