I’ve written before about marriage and how it seems stupid for a woman to marry a man she wont submit to. In listening to a sermon by John Piper, he said something that got me thinking a little more. The sermon is entitled ‘Single in Christ’ and in it, he says that marriage is meant to point towards the consummation of the Kingdom and that it is temporary (marriage that is, not the Kingdom). He asks why you would need a picture (marriage) when you have the person standing in front of you (Christ’s return & the final epic appearance of the Kingdom in all its fullness).
Anyways, if marriage is meant to be a snapshot of what is to come, and I’m pretty convinced that it is, that says a lot about not only its purpose, but its practice. Marriage is not the end. Marriage is a covenant relationship that reflects Christ’s relationship with the church. In that relationship, we see love and mercy and forgiveness and yep, headship. Christ is the head of the church. We’ve got that image in our heads firmly. I want to push my previous thoughts a little further.
Not change them, but give them some more background… and purpose.
Marriage in today’s culture is not a covenant relationship. There is talk about a 10 year contract and then having an opt out option, or to renew it. That’s insane! Marriage is so different today. It has been shifted in meaning. Some would argue that the legal marriage is not intended to be the Biblical marriage but when an argument is down to semantics, you know it’s getting no where. Marriage is a covenant relationship. It reflects Christ’s relationship with the church. A covenant that if it were broken, we’d be screwed.
Anyway, if this is the purpose of marriage, then how much more amazing and important does the concept of a godly marriage seem to you? It shifts it for me. It changes it from submission because the Bible told me so, to submission because that is how the church is to be with Christ… it’s the priviledge of showing people a snapshot of the Kingdom.