The bible confronts a husband and wife with the lifelong challenge of patterning their relationship after the relationship between Jesus and the church. Certain assumptions follow.
- Christians will marry Christians
- Christian marriage is a relationship that requires mutual submission and accountability, nurture, tenderness, and responsibility. In mutual submission, the husband and wife will exhibit the caregiving of Christ for the church, especially in terms of Jesus’ sacrificial devotion and sense of divine mission and call.
Some churches (now and in the past) have taught that husbands should act lordly, and wives should act worshipfully toward their lords. This approach to marriage had often been a pretext for male domination, both in the family and in the church. Clearly, husbands are not the “saviors” with the wives being the “sinners.” No, both parties must come to the marriage eager for a growing relationship of service and love, each devoted to the Lord and to each other, firmly committed to the union that makes each stronger and equips each better for the life God sets before them.
EPHESIANS 5:22-33 – 22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 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.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 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.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 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.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.