For Pre-Marital Counseling both Nick and I had to compose a Biblical definition of marriage. Of course, as is anything I do which includes having to write something, mine was pages long and his was a nice, neat, concise long paragraph. Regardless of those little details, I thought I would post it here because it was interesting to me, and because it stirred in me not only questions upon questions about married/planning-to-be-married people who have not planted their marriage in and upon Christ, but it also set in front of me some serious challenges for my upcoming (FAST!!!!) marriage, and reignited a passion and desire for in depth Bible study. That being said, my definition:
A Biblical marriage is one that first and foremost has Christ at the center (you know, the whole triangle analogy, as we draw closer to the Lord so also we draw closer to each other.] Our ultimate purpose each day should be to glorify and serve God as we love one another, and out of the overflow of our service to God will (ideally) come a desire to honor and serve one another.
A Biblical marriage should reflect that of the church’s marriage to Christ. Just as Christ is the head of the church, his body of believers, so also the husband should be the head of the marriage relationship. Paul writes also that husbands should love their wives as much as their own bodies, and take care of them, sacrifice for them, and protect them, just as Christ does for the church, his body and bride.
A Biblical marriage should be one in which wives submit to their husbands as to the Lord. According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, submit is defined to mean “yield oneself to the authority or will of another; to permit oneself to be subjected to something,” and so on. Not once does it say, allow oneself to be walked on and ordered around by one’s authority; to let another person control and coerce you into servanthood, or anything else equally as demeaning. Submitting oneself to the authority and will of another, the husband, is done out of love, respect, and honor to him. And in return for said respect, the husband will love, care for, protect, and make sacrifices. It is not a lordship, but an equal partnership in which both respective parties play their part in making the relationship work. [Both submitting or both trying to be the leader would simply not work.]
Eph 5 :21-30 says “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 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, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body."
A Biblical marriage is one in which both parties challenge and are challenged daily to become better and more devoted to one another and ultimately to God. Hebrews chapter ten, in reference to the church, tells them to keep meeting together in His name, to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” to hold tight to what they claim to believe. Those of us who choose to enter into a marriage that is founded on Scripture and in Christ are lucky enough to have a Christian partner by our side every day. We should humble and submit ourselves enough to learn from one another how and grow from each other on a daily basis. I believe one of God’s main purposes when He created marriage was to teach us how to better love and understand Him as we learn to love and understand one another.
Just as we will be challenged every day to lay down our pride and selfish desires and motives to love and serve our spouse, so also we are called to lay down our pride and selfish ambitions and submit ourselves to Christ each day. We will be challenged to display unconditional love, patience, forgiveness, humility, respect to one another, just as Christ daily demonstrates those characteristics to us.