Marriage is not a two-way street in which both parties are commanded to give themselves up to each other. That is not sacrificial love. That is the idolatry of two little gods sitting on their respective thrones demanding to be fed and satisfied.
In Ephesians Chapter 5, Paul said,
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25)
Now, apart from the obvious point which Paul makes about a husbands’ sacrificial attitude towards his wife, and its reflection of Christs’ love for the church, there lies something deeper.
You have no absolute claim on your wife to be, and she has no absolute claim on you. So, what did Paul mean when He told us to love our wives the way Christ loved the church. How do we do that?
The verse reads that Jesus gave Himself up for her, not to her. And therein lies all the difference. Who then did Jesus give Himself to?
He Gave Himself to God
He gave Himself to God, for the sake of His wife. The best thing that Jesus could have done was to give Himself up to God for our sakes. Likewise, husbands are commanded to give themselves up to God, for her sake.
Marriage exists because Christ died for the world. Marriage is Christ giving Himself to God for our sakes, the glory of which is reflected when a man and a woman willingly die to themselves by giving their lives to God for the sake of the each other.
This means that marriage is a three-way street in which, by giving myself up to God in the Covenant of Marriage, I am loving my wife the way Christ loved the church.
I give myself up to the God of the Covenant who said, “Thou shall not commit adultery”, and in surrendering myself to Him, my wife is blessed with a faithful husband. I give myself up to the God of the Covenant who said, “Honour your wife” and in this surrender to God, she is truly blessed with a husband who will guard her life.
This is the love that God calls for in marriage. Giving ourselves up to Him for the sake of our wives. The best thing a man can do for his wife is not keep the score even: “I will do the dishes if you take out the rubbish.”
It doesn’t matter who takes out the rubbish. What matters is who I am surrendering to and who I am surrendering for.
The best thing a man can do, if he wants a safe, secure and happy wife, is to give himself up to the God who defined marriage, for her sake.
If you love your wife, then imitate Christ and give yourself to God. You can begin by acknowledging His Word, and not hers, or the word of the latest best selling marriage guru, as the rule for your own life.
Marriage Preparation PDF
Marriage exists because Christ died for the world. He came to kill the dragon and get the girl. Which He did.
Download the full 8-part Marriage Preparation PDF for free!