Backwards Marriage Illustrations

I was thinking about something yesterday:

When we read Ephesians 5 and other passages about marriage, we usually read them as if Jesus' life is the ultimate illustration of marriage. Wives ought to be voluntarily selfless (5:22), and Jesus showed us how by submitting to His Father's will despite the cost to Himself. Husbands ought to be sacrificial lovers (5:23) and Jesus showed us how by dying for someone who didn't deserve it.

But I think we have it backward.

It wasn't like God was sitting in heaven puzzled, thinking "How in the world can I help their marriages be better? Oh, I know! I'll send my Son as an object lesson for them."

We've flipped the illustration. Jesus isn't intended to be an illustration of marriage; marriage is intended to be the ultimate illustration of Jesus, and specifically the gospel.

There's a huge difference.

Jesus' main purpose wasn't to make your marriage better. Your marriage's main purpose is to make the gospel of Jesus more evident to everyone around you. And here's the thing: when that happens, our marriages usually get better as a result.

Here's a question for you: "How can I love my spouse today in a way that the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be made more clear to others?"


lisa said...