I was just talking to a couple in my office. They’re anticipating their 50th wedding anniversary. I thought of the word “endurance”… you don’t often think of that as an expression of love. It certainly doesn’t sound very romantic. But it is.
As I’ve thought a lot about marriage the past month or so… its a new political hot-potato, I began thinking about what makes a marriage Christian? After all, we can’t wait for the culture to define it for us. Christian marriage should reflect God’s character and work if He is the source. So, here several things I see.
1. Christian marriage is a work of completion. Our God completes things. He made humanity male and female (Ge. 1:26-27) to bear His image. When man was made he was incomplete. So God created a partner to complete him (Ge. 2:20-24). And he gave them a relationship (one flesh). This is a picture of two distinct persons being unified and becoming complete.
2. Christian marriage is an expression of God’s creativity. God is pro-creation! And he told them to procreate (Ge. 1:28). Nevertheless this is one of the purposes of marriage and it expresses God’s commitment to and His involvement with His creation.
3. Christian marriage is an exercise in redemption. In Ephesians 5:22-33, through love and submission, a husband and wife sacrifices for one another. In loving commitment they give and forgive.
4. Christian marriage is an affirmation of covenant. God is all about “covenant” relationships. Two things that are essential to covenant are fidelity and faithfulness. Promises made are kept. The purity of the marriage bed is part of that fidelity(Heb. 13:4). Some love is inclusive (God loves all people). Some love is exclusive (God loves His covenant bride). Marriage love is exclusive. Faithfulness is essential. This longevity challenges us to yield and grow together (Matt. 9:3-6).
We can sum this all up by saying that Christian marriage is a covenant relationship between a man and woman. It is lived for the sake of the other, to promote the creative and redemptive purposes of God. It is lived in purity and permanence.
We worry about losing marriage. We can’t lose God’s purpose for marriage if Christians will live in Christian marriages.
What do you think makes a marriage uniquely Christian?
How have you experienced this?
What impact can we have on culture if even half of married Christians devoted themselves to this kind of marriage?