“How I dread preaching on the estate of marriage! I am reluctant to do it because I am afraid if I once get really involved in the subject it will make a lot of work for me and for others.” – Martin Luther, The Estate of Marriage (1522)
The command for believers in Christ to be filled by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) is initially evidenced by worship and gratitude to God and submission to one another (Eph. 5:19-21). In Ephesians 5:22-6:9, the Apostle Paul will explain how mutual submission is to be demonstrated in the home and at work. Paul begins with marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33).
Having served as a pastor for over 40 years, I have done my fair share of weddings. In fact, my wife and I recently visited with an 80’s something couple who are delightfully married. It is the second marriage for them, since both their respective former spouses died. If love is lovelier the second time around, this dear couple certainly attest to this adage.
In every wedding I have the privilege and responsibility to officiate, I require pre-marital counseling. In the six sessions, the prospective couple and I biblically examine the various aspects of marriage. This ranges from their personality differences, finances, children, church involvement, and in-laws.
By far, the most enjoyable session for me, and hopefully for the future husband and wife, is taken from Ephesians 5:22-33. The three of us spend a considerable time examining exactly what is meant by submission and love, respectively by the wife and husband. It always turns out to be an enlightening and edifying occasion for all.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “Jesus gives life to a new community of love – the church, His own body. His love defines the marriage relationship for His people. Paul teaches that the genders are complimentary and a man and a woman are equal before God. Redemption restores the intimacy men and women were created to enjoy in marriage.”
For the next several days, we will examine the responsibilities of both spouses in a truly biblical marriage relationship. Hopefully, couples will be challenged and edified and the Lord will be glorified. Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!