Confession time. I’m a practicing Christian. Yep, I’m one of those card carrying Jesus Freaks that you may have heard of from time to time. Not the kind that pickets Gay Marriages (pretty sure they aren’t really in the club). Not the kind that thinks that you’ve got to be absolutely perfect to win the game of life (not that you ever could be.) But the kind that actually follows (as best I can) the teachings of Jesus as laid out in the Holy Bible.
As such I spend a lot of time looking at marriage in that “Gospel Light” and I take pretty seriously its depiction in the scriptures. Now there are a lot of differing interpretations about gender roles in marriage based on the lens that the reader uses. Personally I think that any reading of scripture that builds someone up at the expense of another misses the point entirely.
So what does the Bible really have to say about marriage, and, more importantly, what does that mean for you? (Believer or not.)
Pretty much every Christian based marriage book worth its salt lays out the same view of marriage, so I’ll follow suit (I like to think I’m salt worthy.)
Based on Ephesians 5:22-33 we see that human marriage is an analogy for the relationship between Christ and the Church (aka the Bride of Christ) Which is to say that it’s the job of one spouse (the bride) to follow the lead of, and support the other. While it is the job of the other spouse (the bridegroom) to lead and serve the first. Even to the point of death if need be!
To really unpack all the meaning in that passage usually takes professional authors from 5 pages to an entire book, so I’ll pass over that to make my point. Which is:
Ultimately marriage is a daily living out of our relationship to God as a “saved” human being.
Important Aside! That is from the perspective of both spouses, no one is “Lord” over another in a well functioning marriage. The reason why is found in that big unpacking I left out. For now just trust me on this.end aside
Which is to say that the ultimate message of marriage, how we are meant to act towards each other, is basically the same as how God expects us to act toward Him. And that really is good news. Because the message that God has for us, all the way through scripture is… Do the best you can, and when you mess up, acknowledge it and do better next time.
Really! That’s it. Out of love for your spouse do your best to love, respect, support, and serve them. When you make a mistake (and you will!) acknowledge it, ask for (and receive) forgiveness, and move on.
Does it really matter for your marriage if you are a Christian, or if you believe in a Higher Power at all? Not really. So long as you use this blueprint your marriage will be an inspiration to everyone around you.