In Service and In Love

July 31, 2022

“Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her…”

Ephesians 5:24-25

Lives Marked by Love

Who is the most picture-perfect couple you can imagine? Maybe it’s a couple you’ve seen on television, or it’s someone whose family is Instagram famous. Perhaps you’re thinking of a couple whom you only know from afar. They just make their marriage, their relationship, and their family life look so easy.

Anyone who’s ever entered into the covenant of marriage knows that external perception isn’t correct. It doesn’t fully encompass the experience of living your life hand-in-hand with another flawed human being. Yet it is in service and in love that we find the roles we play within this sacred union.

Going Against The Grain

Today’s passage is one that was countercultural when it was written, just as it is still today. Apart from the Scriptures, no written accounts reveal this same kind of language or expectation. Who would have ever heard of husbands or wives seeking to love one another so sacrificially? For a husband to love his wife to the same degree as the Man who gave up His own life? Unheard of. And to read in a letter that a wife’s place in the home to be made holy and cleansed by the love her husband likewise sounds foreign.

The way of Christ is different from the way of the world. For a husband to lead by serving sacrificially is groundbreaking. For a wife to submit to a husband who would lead in such a compassionate way was likewise so contrary to the times…just as it is today.

Covenant and Commitment

As it turns out, there is truly no picture-perfect marriage. Only two imperfect people who are committing to one another, no matter what comes their way. Just as Christ committed Himself to our eternal benefit, so we do the same with those we enter into covenant with.

So, the question for the unmarried isn’t, “Will I ever find the right person?” Rather, we must ask ourselves how we can become the right person who will join into this union in service and in love. For those who are married, we must remember the promises we’ve made and continue to love our spouses with their eternal benefit in mind. This is how Christ loves us and how we demonstrate His life-changing love in return.

Now What?

Consider the ways that Christ views you as His bride. How does His unchanging devotion and commitment to your well-being and holiness lead you to better serve Him? How does His love for us translate to the ways we engage within our own marriages? Take time to really reflect on God’s design for marriage and how you can best reflect His glory, no matter your marital status.

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