Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. Ephesians 5:21-33; (KJV)
The life of Christ provides us with perfect examples for all affairs of life including marriage. Marriage relationship is very important to God and He takes key interest in the marriage affairs of His children. Trying to look into the heart of God, we can see how seriously He takes the issue of marriage when He designed His relationship with the Church along the pattern of marriage bond. Christís relationship with the Church is modeled not after master-servant or lord-slave relationship but marriage union, because God desires to provide us with perfect example of how we should run our marriage affairs while living here on earth. For everyone who desires a glorious marriage therefore, the only model to look out for is the union that exists between Christ and His Church. Itís sad that a lot of believers are modeling their marriages after the patterns, culture, customs, traditions and standards of the world, and this is responsible for the massive failures and terrible storms a lot of Christian homes are experiencing today. For those of us who are married or planning to get married, marriage is part of the major things that will determine fulfillment of our destinies on earth and even our fate in eternity! Itís for this reason we must make up our minds never to accept anything less than Godís pattern as presented in His word so as to enable us have a blissful marriage union God desires for us.
Thereís no way we can have the best or experience the joy marriage is expected to offer until our relationship begins to reflect the marriage of Christ. But our marriage union can never reflect the marriage of Christ until we ourselves have submitted to the transforming power of Holy Spirit and Godís word. Today many believers have resorted to worldly and carnal methods in handling issues of sex, finances, in-laws, children, families and relations in their marriages but have forgotten the fact that real and lasting solutions cannot come if they themselves are not willing to change. Beginning from the very first day we got married to our partners, we have embarked on a lifetime project, and what becomes of that project is entirely determined by us. Our attitudes, decisions, choices, actions and inactions are the very things that will determine whether our marriage union will be sweet or sour.
We become better persons as individuals only when we grow in our relationship with Christ. Unfortunately this most vital part of our lives seems to be the one we lay little or no emphasis on today. Relationship with God is the bedrock of our marriage and entire life; if we allow our relationship with God to suffer, everything else is bound to collapse, itís only a matter of time! Our marriage becomes better only when we become better persons as individuals! For instance, itís only a man who truly fears God with all his heart and maintains intimate relationship with God that will never beat his wife or be involved in shameful acts of adultery and extra marital affairs no matter the pressures; in the same vein, itís only a woman that has completely submitted herself to God that will submit to her own husband without nagging even when the man is so difficult and unreasonable. The invaluable virtues of love, patience, tolerance, endurance, understanding and forgiveness which we need to make our marriage work, are all fruits which Holy Spirit alone can manifest through us provided we submit our lives totally to the molding arms of Godís words.
One major feature of a transformed marriage is love. To understand what love really means, we must see through the eyes of Christís love to His Church. Christ, according to the scriptures, died for us sinners when there was nothing attractive or good about our lives; the love Christ demonstrates to His church is unconditional, and this is the same love we are expected to express to our spouses when our lives have been transformed. If we understand true meaning of love, we will be less critical, we will show more understanding, more considerations and cares for our spouses. One key attribute of love is that it places others first. Somebody that is truly in love will always seek the happiness of the other party above his or her own interests.
What makes our marriages to glow is how much of Godís instructions we are prepared to obey. As husbands, we must daily look into the life of Christ and the way he relates to the Church, and we must be willing to imitate everything we see Him do so that our union can conform to His own. Equally, wives must look into the perfect law of liberty to see all that is expected of the Church in her relationship to the Lord Jesus so that they can also respond in similar way in their relationship to their husbands. It must be emphasized that no marriage is destined to fail and no marriage is destined to succeed, whatever becomes of your marriage union is what you make it! Godís desire is for us to have a joyful marriage, and we must not fail in our responsibilities of submitting our lives to total transformation which in turn will bring our much desired blissful union. Successful marriage is hard work!