We're going through a series where in we try to redeem the biblical implication of the stuff that we usually practice and see a bigger picture of what they are. One of the very things that we're going to look at right now is the very meaning of marriage. What is so important about it that we have to redeem the biblical meaning of it in hopes that we truly see the serious thing that marriage is, that it's even bigger than what we have thought it is.
This is one of the very things that I have always held up high and respected and waited for. I'm very blessed to have parents that are enjoying marriage and ever since I was a kid I've always wanted that kind of thing. Of course with the help of various media and just me being my plain ol' cheesy self, I've always held marriage in high esteem. The gift that it is to a couple of people who loves each other and the rewards that comes along with it.
Has it been this way to many? This has also been one of the things that have constantly broken my heart. Being a witness of a marriage that wasn't even given a chance to materialize, hearing of people cheating with their husbands and wives left and right, marriage has consistently degraded from something held serious to a glorified "relationship".
I hold myself as someone who shouldn't even be talking about this since I am in no way near this season but I will speak to it in a stand point of someone looking at it, walking towards it with someone hand in hand and wanting to understand what it means more biblically and hopefully get to share that season with the one I am in love with.
Our goal for this session is to see what it is, and hopefully have a bigger picture on what it is biblically, and let our minds as people who are in a season of singleness looking for someone to share this with. I am not stopping you to chase relationships or going for this, I just want to mold your minds on what the texts that we're going to look at say about this and we could start from there.
Being single doesn't give us an excuse on not thinking about this, if we desire to be in a relationship with a significant other, THIS is what we should think about, and getting the biblical implication of it, we then should be wise on our decisions.
First let's all see what others, through observation, thinks about this. Dating, Relationships and Marriage. When I observe and talk to people about relationships and dating most of the time it has always been self serving. Everything is about them and everything is about what they could get out from it. I'm very particular to guys with regard to this message since that is the very standpoint that I'm looking at as well. I feel ashamed that alot of the guys that I know has this point of view with regards to relationships as well. It's always about them. To which I could say that this could be the primary reason why these things fail, why people cheat on their partners, rushing things and enjoying the rewards of marriage even before wedlock. Nobody wants this, ask any girl out there if this is the kind of relationship that they want, and I would say that nobody really wants this.
The concept of marriage and union between man and woman is marred and it has been marred since Genesis 3 when things began to sink into corruption. Certain roles of husband and wives were stepped on and everyone was out for their selfish desires.
Sad to say, in this day and age, with the way the culture has been moving towards this trend, I doubt that there's any need for marriage anymore. The social accepted norm dictates that when you're in a relationship it's already as it is. Enjoy the rewards and benefits of marriage, and skip the whole ordeal. True that there may be love involved here, and that is probably one of the most important aspects in a relationship for without that how can one begin right? but be it as it may, what do we think is the most important aspect that everyone has been missing lately with regards to relationships and mostly marriage. If people in love can still go and fall out of it, what is the most important glue that SHOULD hold these two together?
The very most important thing that should be held first and foremost in a relationship is the commitment that you as a person hold towards the person you love. And everything that is bound to happen within it is what a man and woman should enjoy while keeping the covenant that you two hold for Christ's sake.
With that in mind, let's look into the text on how we have gotten into that conclusion.
Let's check out a few verses that could help us grasp more into this. We're going to look at Ephesians 5:22 onwards and see through the roles of the husband and wife and his comparison of them to what Christ is to his church.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Of Covenant-Keeping Love...
We start off with Paul saying that this mystery is profound and that the mystery that marriage itself is presenting is referring to Christ and the church. He was quoting Genesis 2, the first marriage ever practiced, when he was saying that a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife and the two being of one flesh. One flesh my friends, just as Christ was with us in his commitment with us.
we can see Love, Faithfulness, Righteousness, Justice all intertwined with this very act. Referring to it as Christs commitment/covenant-keeping love he has for his church where in he, knowing no sin became sin so we might become his righteousness. He being the son of God took upon our image as depraved men prone to sin and did the very thing that we couldn't do so in that we would be able to be seen as blameless and pure in the fathers eyes. His beauty for our ashes.
I'm not saying that this is what we should do, but we should still be self-sacrificial towards our love to our significant other, but we'll get to that later, what I'm presenting here is the eternal promise of God being fulfilled without any shadow of lack and how his covenant that lasts forever would then release the fragrance of love between Jesus and his church. For the very proof that we could show that God loves us is the very fact that we love him in return.
We are no longer sinners but redeemed sinners being sanctified daily towards being Christlike in the end of the age.
We might still end up tripping along the way, but one thing that I am sure of is that his covenant will still remain with his church, he'll never leave us nor forsake us, he'll never see this thing fail. He's with us even if we don't like him being there.
And with that said, this is the very reason of marriage in itself. The presence of a covenant-keeping love that exists between a man and a woman. The very vows that you share with each other and daily keeping them as much as Christ has kept his towards his church. Acting upon graces to each other just as Christ has poured out his grace towards his church. Living a grace-centered relationship in lieu of the gospel-centered life that you're living with Christ.
With this being said, how can one think about this beautiful thing being cut off? How can we think about divorce when Christ has never divorced his church. How can we think of cheating off on our significant others when Christ himself has given himself up to sanctify his bride.
Suddenly, it's bigger than how we initially viewed it is. It could all be something that we might think as burning out, something really risky and something really close to impossible to doing. It actually is. I'm not going to lie, I'm not married, I'm in a relationship and basically that in itself is something that's difficult to nourish. It's just alot easier to go through with and enjoy if you're in it with the right person.Everything is done willingly and not something that you'd drag your feet to do. Just as Christ has gone through the cross willingly for who? for us... and for him.
You see that it's actually more than just being in love with each other, for being in love is the very happy overflow of a covenant-keeping for Christ's sake.
Knowing the gospel, knowing what Christ did to his church, how could we look at our vows any lesser than what it actually mean?
to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part...
because in reality, this is what Christ has told us and even better because there's no way that we'll be apart from him. Nothing can ever separate us from the love of Christ.
Of Gospel-Centered Life To Grace-Centered Relationships
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands
Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.
I'm not going to talk about roles, roles are something that we would then discover as we discover who Christ is to us. I'm going to focus more on what were the very thing wives and husbands compared with here. What were the primary examples wives and husbands should follow.
Wives submission and Husbands headship were all asked to be acted out like Christ was to his church. Again, all of these things are centered on the very glory that God displayed on the Cross. The very glory that is of the gospel. The good news that we all hold our faith to. This is what we should all embrace and what we should all live by and love first and foremost.
Here's the reality. I'm a sinner, my girlfriend is a sinner, we'll get married sinners and probably die as sinners. How would I love someone who's as flawed as me if I don't have that gospel centered life? How could I forgive, understand, bear all and endure all things if we don't feel this one from Christ.
Dealing with our flawed selves is already hard, what more if we have someone who's as flawed with us enter the picture. There'll be alot of misunderstanding and arguments that will come along the way. I'm not saying that even in a better setting there'll be none, no, there'll be alot of things that you'll find that you don't want in your partner. And there'll never be any point of satisfaction to you if you're not satisfied by the fact that you're forgiven beyond measure.
The whole point of it all. Have a Gospel/Cross/Christ centered life. Let your life revolve and your mind blown everyday with the grace of God exercised through scripture, not until these things are embraced can you ever enjoy grace centered relationships.
Get blown by the new covenant that God gave us. Get blown by the perfect love that Christ has granted us through the cross. Get blown by the fact that these were all showered down to us even while we were still sinners. Get blown by the marriage that Christ has to his church. The one that never fails, that will always work, that will never vanish away. The only kind of marriage that we should look towards to with someone. A covenant-keeping, grace centered, Christ loving marriage.