Jesus Christ and the Church as a case study.
Marriage is a merging of diverse, distinct or separate individuals into a unified whole individual.
It is a fusion of bodies, souls and spirits into a unified body, soul and spirit. It is two people living together as an individual.
Jesus Christ and the Church are examples of oneness, spiritually, though separated physically.
Husband and wife are to grow into oneness in their reasoning, thought, feeling, joy, pain, etc. The hearts are to eventually start beating as one!
Paul saw Christian marriage as taking on a new meaning symbolic of the intimate relationship of love between Christ and the Church. (Ephesians 5: 31-33)
The depth and the height of love exemplified by Jesus Christ and the Church are to be reciprocated by the husband to his wife. This love is the mystery of the sustainability of marriage.
“For this reason, a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” Ephesians 5: 31
What is the purpose of the man leaving his father and mother to be joined to his wife?
Marriage is not just about a man and a woman living together as husband and wife. It goes beyond that!
The main purpose of the marriage is about the husband making his wife a better person, morally, spiritually and socially.
The husband is to lead his wife to God. We can say that marriage is about the spouse having a helpmate whose purpose is to help each other to get closer to God.
It is not as if the husband is a perfect and upright man himself. It is also the wife’s job to ensure that her husband becomes a better person. So it is a reciprocal effort.
In this post, we shall focus on the husband. Our next post will be on the reasons the wife is to be with her husband as a helpmate.
How can the husband and the wife become one flesh?
How can they grow into oneness?
The man leaves his father and his mother for cleaving to his wife, and both of them become one entwined.
The joining together of the couples at the wedding ceremony does not bring them into oneness. They need to grow into oneness.
The wedding ceremony is just the beginning of the journey into oneness. This oneness is the perfect union of the husband and his wife.
This perfect union takes conscious efforts from both the husband and the wife to attain. It all becomes attainable when the couples are filled with the Holy Spirit!
The Holy Spirit unites them spiritually. Since the Holy Spirit of God is one, the couples are connected spiritually. They become one spiritually.
Let learn from the case study of Jesus Christ as the bridegroom and the Church as the bride.
Husbands are to love their wives sacrificially
“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her,” Ephesians 5:25
How did Jesus love the Church? Jesus expressed His love for the Church by giving the most expensive and biggest gift ever. He gave himself up for the Church.
Love is best expressed in giving and sharing. Jesus gave himself up, to die for the sin of many.
You are to love your wife at the expense of yourself. You are to be able to give her all of yourself, without question.
Women understand the love for its expression. Love is in its expression, not the feelings. How far of yourself that you can give your wife signifies the magnitude of your love for her.
This love is about giving up not only all that you have but all that you are. You are giving up whom you are for her.
Jesus Christ gave up who He was, to redeem His love, the Church. He became a man to die for His bride, the Church and cleansed her sins.
Jesus Christ died and suffered for the Church, to redeem her. Jesus Christ did not give His love for a perfect Church, but an imperfect Church.
He gave everything to build a Church that fits His specification of a glorious bride!
Husbands are to sanctify their wives and make them productive in holiness
“So that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, ” Ephesians 5: 26
How can the husband sanctify his wife? By the washing of water with the Word.
We use water for cleaning dirty objects. You are expected to purge your wife of every form of impurities.
How can you do this? By using the Word. The word of God has a cleansing and sanctifying ability to purge sinners of their sin.
“Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;” Ephesians 4: 23
The Word does this by renewing the mind of your wife. The Word removes non-scriptural beliefs, myths, negative thoughts, non-biblical intentions, ideas, etc.
All you have to do is to speak, teach and mentor her using the words of God. Bath her with words of God. Help her to grow up spiritually in the knowledge of God.
You will need to exercise patience as the Holy Spirit does the work of sanctification and cleansing in your wife. Let your words and actions be of help to her as she begins stripping herself of her old self.
Husbands are to love their wives as their bodies
“Even so husbands should love their wives as [being in a sense] their bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.” Ephesians 5: 28
Marriage brings together two individuals to become one. You do not solely own yourself anymore. Your body becomes your wife’s. Your wife’s body becomes your own.
You could feel her pains and worries. You would want to treat her well and make her look good! You would want to please her because you can not displease yourself.
The more of your wife that you love, reflects the more of yourself that you love.
You are to love your wife, despite whatever might be your reason for not loving her. The truth is that no matter how bad you are, you can not hate yourself.
You do not marry a perfect and angelic wife. She is bound to have her faults, you are to love her despite her faults.
Your wife is not a mind reader.
The husband nourishes his wife, protects her and cherishes her
“For no man ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and carefully protects and cherishes it, as Christ does the church, ” Ephesians 5: 29
You are to nourish your wife to make her grow. Everyone grows well in an atmosphere of love.
It is your duty as the husband to build her up. You are to bring out her best by showing her understanding and patience.
You are to love your wife, not as a Saint, but as a Sinner. This means that you are to love your wife, not as a perfect wife, but as an imperfect wife.
She is all yours, to be loved, care for, a tutor with love, sanctified and to make her a better person.
Your love is to make your wife a better person.
Husbands are to help their wives in her spiritual journey to perfection
“That He might present the church to Himself in glorious splendour, without spot or wrinkle or any such things [that she might be holy and faultless].” Ephesians 5: 27
You are a Goldsmith when it comes to marriage. Goldsmith works with raw gold. To be able to present a shining, beautiful, alluring, expensive and marketable gold, the Goldsmith needs to work on the raw gold.
The Goldsmith baths the raw gold in a furnace to remove all the impurities. The fire from the furnace does the cleansing, while the Goldsmith does the helping by holding the raw gold in the furnace.
Goldsmiths are very patient people. To be able to present a faultless gold, they need a lot of patience.
The Church, the bride must be faultless and perfect to be eligible for presentation before God!
Jesus Christ had done everything to make His bride presentable before God. You also need to do everything to make your wife the best she can be!
Christian marriage is a very serious business. Thus, the man must have been with God before marriage. He is to lead his wife to God.
If the wife has been with God, he is to ensure that the wife stays with God all her life.
Therefore, Christian marriage is about two individuals coming together to take a spiritual journey into becoming better persons.
What is your definition of marriage?
Are you still living together with your wife as a separate individual?
Does this post resonate with you?