“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
Ephesians 5:31-32 (NIV)
Every couple wants a perfect marriage. The truth is that this is a recipe for frustration. Why? Because you didn’t marry a perfect person, and you’re not so hot yourself! It’s really not about perfection but purpose. It’s about fulfilling God’s purpose in your marriage. Instead of focusing on perfection in marriage, shift your focus to finding God’s purpose for marriage. While the Bible offers many purposes including sex, children, companionship, pleasure, completeness, fruitfulness, and protection, the ultimate purpose is found in our key passage. God’s ultimate purpose in marriage is to reflect His love for us! Marriage should be a portrait, a picture of God’s love. When others look at your marriage, do they get a glimpse of God’s love for them? If you dig into this passage, in its context, you’ll see God’s desire for your marriage and mine. He starts with a general command to both husband and wife in verse 21. It’s that dreaded “S” word our culture shuns today, but it’s vital to the health of a marriage relationship because it puts us both on an equal playing field. He says, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” One translation renders the word submit as “yield.” Do you do that? In what ways are you yielding to the needs or desires of your mate? Notice the attitude that prompts our submission to one another – “… out of reverence for Christ.” This is a voluntary yielding of our wills to the will of another out of love and respect for Christ. It’s the kind of submission we see in Jesus toward His Father when He said, “…I seek not to please Myself but Him who sent Me.” John 5:30 (NIV) If my marriage is to fulfill God’s purpose to reflect His love, then I need His presence indwelling me. When Christ indwells me, He can be at the center of my marriage. Paul calls this a profound mystery! This week, we are going to examine the clues he gives us in this passage to solve the mystery of marriage. It won’t lead to a perfect marriage, but it will help us to fulfill God’s purpose and experience all that He designed in uniting our lives as one!