Drollinger: Why Our Nation’s Culture Rests Upon Husband-Wife Marriage

If you debate marriage based upon personal happiness, you will lose the argument. If you debate it from theology, you will not. Certainly, God intends marriage to be a source of great personal satisfaction. We live in a fallen world full of disappointments and heartaches, and having a soulmate who is dedicated and loyal to you is such a blessing. I praise God for my wife, Danielle, in this regard. But there is much more to marriage than personal happiness. When America in any way denigrates God’s ordained institution of husband-wife marriage, our nation loses one of his primary means of heralding his nature to our country! Such loss has serious long-term repercussions both in terms of national cultural patterning and moral direction. This week’s Bible study, “The Profound Theological Importance of Husband-Wife Marriage,” examines the Scriptures to show that God designed marriage between a man and a woman to be an emulation of his very nature! To lose the husband-wife model of marriage is to lose an archetype of his otherwise invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature. Ephesians 5:22-33 contains a large embodiment of the divinely inspired Apostle Paul’s teaching relative to the relationship of husbands to wives. The context of this passage in the epistle is within the section where Paul is expressing the behavioral aspects of the called-out ones (cf. 1:4, 5; 2:10). The overall organization of the book of Ephesians is simple to understand. Paul has expressed the doctrinal truths and the calling of believers in chapters 1 to 3. He then segues to express the various practical aspects of the conduct of believers in chapters 4 through 6:9 (all based on the doctrinal truths he has previously stated). Within this latter delineation on the behavioral elements of believers, Paul addresses the walk or “practices” of the believer, calling him or her to walk in unity (4:1-16), in holiness (4:17-32), in love (5:1-6), in light (5:7-14), and in wisdom (5:15-6:9). The passage, 5:22-33, follows:

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Your marriage can and should be a powerful manifestation of God’s invisible attributes, eternal power and divine nature. Your marriage should and most definitely can preach God’s glory to a lost, watching world! Additionally, God expects lawmakers to take his wisdom on marriage into consideration when con­structing (or reconstructing, if need be) marriage legislation for a nation and, more so, to live in accordance with the guidelines of Ephesians 5:22-33. This truth also explains why the forces and agents of evil continually labor to expunge God’s model of marriage from the face of the earth. To do so results in the fact that God’s existence is less apparent and, as well, erodes one of the five foundational pillars that he intends to manifest his reign in the world prior to his Second Coming. Marriage provides all of us with a magnificent glimpse of what God is like! Specifically, the relationship of a husband to his wife helps to illustrate and reveal three major aspects dealing with God’s attributes, power and nature. The first is through the interrelationships of the Trinity. God has ordained marriage to reveal intensively, but not extensively, his nature as it exists within the triune Godhead. Through his ordination of the husband-to-wife relationship, the godly characteristics of fellowship, authority and submission, love and respect are revealed on earth. The second main category is God’s unity within diversity within the Trinity. In this Ephesian passage, combined with Paul’s teaching in Galatians 3:28, there exists a tension in marriage that also exists in the Godhead, that being the equality of the members amid their dissimilarities regarding role and function. Galatians 3:28 reads, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” According to the latter portion of this passage, no spiritual distinction exists between the genders. Both are “heirs according to promise” (Galatians 3:29). Lastly, the relationship of a husband and a wife serves to illustrate the relationship of Christ and His Church. Ephesians 5:27 states, “so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Colossians 1:22 is a parallel passage in statement and meaning. In summary, God is preparing a bride, which is the Church, for Christ. Whereas in the Old Testament Israel is pictured as the wife of the Lord (cf. Isaiah 54:5; and Hosea 2:19-20), in the New Testament the Church is seen as the bride of Christ, with Christ as the bridegroom (cf. Mark 2:20). Furthermore, in his Second Coming, Christ will be united with his bride and appear with her in his glorious, triumphant return. Such splendor is revealed in Revelation 19:7: “Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready.” This study delineates the many ways that the relationship of a husband and a wife models and describes the spiritual realities of the living God of the universe who has revealed himself in the Scriptures. Lastly and most importantly, in that God has so identified himself to his creation through his construct of the institution of marriage, true believers should be extremely motivated to pay special, close attention to their marriage. They are to give their marriage the priority and energy it deserves and requires in order to best proclaim God’s invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature to an unbelieving world. This should be especially true with lawmakers who publicly profess Christ. There is so much more to the divine institution than your personal satisfaction (as important as that is in a fallen, disappointing world). In a cultural sense, even more is at stake: When America in any way denigrates God’s ordained institution of husband-and-wife marriage, our nation loses one of God’s primary means of heralding his nature to our country! This loss has serious long-term repercussions in terms of cultural patterning and moral direction. As the institution of marriage goes, so goes a nation’s culture. Click here to read the full Bible study, which offers greater detail, more Scriptural evidence, and a more complete explanation. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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