Today my wife and I are celebrating our 41st wedding anniversary, as best as you can in lockdown. I still vividly remember the wedding day in Barry, the reception at Bindle’s Ballroom in Cold Knap, no longer in existence, the awful speech I made and the food, none of which we ate because we were both far too nervous to eat. Marriages have their ups and downs, and ours is no different. We’ve had bad times and good times, heartache and joy, but after 41 years we have two wonderful children, four amazing grandchildren, and a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ that makes each day so satisfying.
Marriage is something that was established as mankind was first created. Adam existed with incredible abilities, which included being able to name all the animals that existed alongside him, but something was missing from his life. God determined that he needed a partner, so created Eve to work, and to enjoy life, alongside him. This is the basis of all marriages on earth today, although it’s fair to say that most people don’t realise this, especially those who have never looked at the Bible. However, the book of Genesis clearly says, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” (1) We didn’t invent the concept of marriage, God gave it to us.
The human race of course, with its rebellious nature, when it abandoned God it also abandoned his rules, including the one about marriage. Marriage was meant to exist between a couple, and there’s a good reason for that, but it wasn’t long before people were having multiple marriages, and also having relationships outside marriage. Such ideas became so commonplace that it even happened amongst God’s chosen people, Israel. Solomon, one of the great kings of Israel, had 700 wives and 300 concubines, and he was supposed to be the wisest man on earth. Having 700 mothers-in-law doesn’t sound wise to me, and in fact, having so many wives was the ruin of Solomon. We’re told in the Bible, “As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been. He followed Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and Molek the detestable god of the Ammonites. So Solomon did evil in the eyes of the LORD; he did not follow the LORD completely, as David his father had done.” (2)
I mentioned there was a good reason why marriage was meant to be between one man and one woman. No one knew, or understood what it was, until Paul wrote a letter to the Church of God in Ephesus. He said to them, “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her … we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.” (3)
Confused? I thought you might be so let me explain it. Christians have entered into a unique relationship with Christ where we are united with him, he is the Head and we are the Body. This is true of all Christians, dead or alive, we all form his body. He died for us to create this relationship, suffering for our sins, forgiving us and making us beautiful in his sight. The Bible says, “How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful!” (4)
Marriage is a picture of this relationship between Christ and his Church. The man is the picture of Christ and the woman is the picture of his Body, and there is a mutual love between them. When we married, we were so aware of this picture and so glad that we were able to represent Christ and his Church. Each day is an opportunity to show each other the love that exists between them. With Christ as your Saviour you can be part of this wonderful relationship, and bring enhanced meaning and worth to your own marriage if you have one. If you’re thinking of marriage make yours a picture of Christ and his Church.
- Genesis 2:24
- 1 Kings 11:4-6
- Ephesians 5:25-31
- Ephesians 4:1