Christian Marriage 101

May 18, 2011

What is a Christian Marriage?

“We are both confessed Christians who have decided to enter into marriage.”  Is it that simple to define? is devoted to the fact that Christian marriage is actually quite different.  It is critical to read God’s Word that we might better understand the institution of marriage as He designed it.  I am convinced that one reason we are unsuccessful in marriage is because we lack God’s vision for it.  So we find ourselves struggling to keep our commitment.

Let’s take a look at Ephesians 2:21-32 in answering the fundamental question above.

Ephesians 5:21-32 (Today’s New International Version)
Instructions for Christian Households
21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.  22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, people have never hated their own bodies, but they feed and care for them, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

For a more in-depth breakdown of this passage, I recommend viewing  Bob Deffinbaugh’s study notes.

This passage presents a simple commandment for the Christian Marriage:

  • Wives:  Submit to your husband.
  • Husbands:  Love your wives just as Christ loved the church.

I found it interesting that God placed no conditions on this commandment for either of us.  It is important to remember that we will each be held accountable for our individual actions.  Not to excuse the wives at all, but I believe one reason some women have a problem with submission stems from the fact that many of us men do not love as Christ.

None of us will always be successful in meeting this Christian Marriage requirement, but it must be a goal we strive to achieve every day.  It is one of the key differentiating factors from a “worldly marriage”.

ChristianMarriageHQ Challenge:  Verbally express to your spouse that you would like to spend the next 7 days paying closer attention to meeting your God-given obligation.  Keep a journal of key moments for discussion at the end of the week.

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