The world may tell you that marriage is a snare, a trap that you can’t get out of. Or marriage is like a city, those outside want to get in, but those inside want to get out. The world often doesn’t place a high value on marriage. Paul tells us that marriage is to be lived for the glory of God. It is an opportunity to serve God and be changed into the likeness of Jesus as we put off our old self and put on our new self renewed in Christ. But it is no picnic. If you are thinking of tying the knot, are you sure you are really ready for marriage?
Marriage is About Service
Paul wanted the Colossian church to be different from the world. Even in our closest relationships people should be able to see the great salvation work of Jesus in how we live as spouses. Husbands love their wives in order to bring glory to Christ and wives submit and respect their husbands to bring glory to Christ. If you are single, are you able to sign up to this way of life?
If you are single, are you able to sign up to this way of life?
Marriage was designed not by man but by God. This union was intended not for us, but for the joint service of God as spouses. Marriage is forever. The bible does not assume everyone will get married. Some may find they can serve God better by not being married. This is a valid path to take for those who can walk it.
Love and Submit
What is the user manual for marriage? God has given us a user guide for marriage with two key words – love and submit. According to Ephesians 5:22 wives submit to their husbands as unto the Lord. The home is a small example of what is happening at a cosmic level where Jesus is the head of the church. As the Church recognises and follows Jesus’ authority and leadership so the wife does the same for her husband.
Marriage is a Picture of the Gospel
A husband must love and lead his wife as unto the Lord. In Ephesians 5:25 the husband must love his wife as Jesus loved the church, he must be willing to die for her. He must put the interests of his wife before his own interests. The husband has been given leadership and authority to protect, keep and love his wife. He does not have authority to abuse her, but to uplift her. To care for her, look after her and make sure that she is sanctified and prepared for heaven, just as Jesus does for the church.
This is the order of marriage that honours God and shows the world what Jesus achieved for the church. Marriage is a place where the gospel is played out day by day for everyone to see.
The Power Struggle…
In our culture men impose themselves overtly and women impose themselves covertly in marriage. Women must not rule over their husbands and manipulate and control them through their acts of service, words or behaviour. If you do not want to live under the authority of a husband don’t get married. The moment you marry you surrender under the authority of your husband.
Men impose themselves overtly and women impose themselves covertly in marriage.
So, Are You Ready For Marriage?
Single women, choose carefully if you are still single. Ensure the man you marry is someone you can submit to wholeheartedly. Husbands love for your wife means you put her before you; you love her more than you love yourself. At mealtimes you will allow her to eat first. She can choose the best of the food in front of you. Even when she mistreats you, you offer your life for hers every single time.
Just like Christ dies for us when we were still sinners and scoffed at him, single men, are you willing to die for your future spouse? If you can’t then you are not ready for marriage.
Text: Colossians 3:17-19
Date preached: 9 June 2019
Location: Le Phare Church, Bukhavu, DRC-Congo