Ephesians 5 is a classic text to turn to when seeking biblical wisdom about marriage. However, it also has a tendency to unsettle those who do not understand that the word of God can be trusted with all areas of life. Truths like, “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy,… In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” (Ephesians 5:24-28)
This passage refuses to tiptoe around words like submission and sacrifice. It says sacrifice and submission are how you get to be a part of the great dance reflecting the relationship between Christ and the church. It is a divine design and those who have a marriage dedicated to Jesus have done the hard work these words require to find the great beauty in an Ephesians 5 marriage. As Tim Keller says in The Meaning of Marriage, “the tender, serving authority of a husband’s headship and the strong, gracious gift of a wife’s submission restore us to who we were meant to be at creation.”
10. Differences Are Celebrated
At the beginning of a relationship, opposites may attract, but at some point, those differences that once seemed irresistible feel more like irritations. A couple committed to Christ will remember that neither of them is perfect and that the divergent parts of their personalities are providential. In What Did You Expect?: Redeeming The Realities Of Marriage, Paul David Tripp points out that, “One way God establishes beauty is by putting things that are different next to each other. Isn’t this exactly what God does in marriage? He puts very different people next to each other. This is how he establishes the beauty of a marriage. The moon would not be so striking if it hung in a white sky; in the same way, the striking beauty of a marriage is when two very different people learn to celebrate and benefit from their differences and to be protected from their weaknesses by being sheltered by the other’s strength.”
What a privilege it is to live in a marriage that reflects a living God to a dying world. A marriage built on Christ does not forget what it is about, who it is for, and is always pointing at the Savior of the world, the perfect groom—Jesus.
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