< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: God Gives Us Guidance for a Good Marriage

Saturday, February 27, 2010

God Gives Us Guidance for a Good Marriage

I love that Valentine’s Day this year fell on a Sunday. And that the Pastor’s sermon was on marriage. He used Ephesians for his scripture.

Ephesians 5:2233 Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church 30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

The pastor said that marriage is God’s word picture of the Gospel. Our relationship with our spouse should tell the truth about God and promote the Gospel. The Gospel is an expression of who God is: that out of love He gave us a gift to save us when we couldn’t save ourselves. We needed God to act – and He did!

This love is not like the world’s definition of love. Christ’s example to us in marriage is sacrificial love. Our love for our spouse should cost us something. Jesus laid down His life for us. (John 3:16) What do we need to give up for our spouse? Our time, recreation, attitude…?

Husbands are to nourish and cherish their wives. They should take the time to really understand their wives. What’s important to them. Try to figure out how they can help their wife to live out their Christian walk: create an environment for them that makes it easy for them to be a Christian.

Wives are to look up to and respect their husbands. The pastor said this is really more in the eye of the beholder than the person we are looking at. We don’t do this because they deserve it as much as because Christ told us to. We are called to be like Christ. We offer grace just like He did. We respect our husbands by submitting to them, admiring them, no nagging and honoring them publically.

Husbands and wives become one flesh, united in goals, united in God, working toward the same purpose as a couple. The marriage and family is at least one arena (and for many, the main arena) where they can reflect God best: showing His sacrificial love, His grace and forgiveness. It also means that the family can be a safe place for people to speak freely about God and worship Him. A place where they can be what they are designed to be: gracious, compassionate, kind, patient, forgiving and bound together in perfect harmony.

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