The Apostle Paul wrote about the marriage relationship this way in Ephesians 5:
“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 [i.e. the gospel message], 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.”
A “mystery” in the New Testament is a truth once hidden that is now revealed in Christ. What was hidden was that the ancient covenant of marriage, which began with Adam and Eve, was designed to picture something that would not be understood until much, much later, when Christ appeared on earth. At this point something dramatic became clear. The marriage relationship is to be a living picture of the relationship between Christ and His beloved Bride, the Church.
Paul wants his readers to not miss the point of this social institution. Christ is the husband, the Church of authentic believers is his betrothed. In Jewish marriage, the betrothal relationship may last a year or longer while the groom prepared the new room for his bride in his father’s home. Then the groom comes to receive his wife. At that time the couple is joined in an intimate and permanent love relationship as long as they live. Nothing could better picture the relationship of believers to Christ than marriage. It explains why loving submission and sacrificial authority is so important. It preaches the truth about Christ and the Church!
Every day we can live this message through our marriages—to our children, our neighbors, our church, our world—as the submissive bride of Christ looking for our future life together at the consummation of our marriage, the return of Christ for his beloved Church.
Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14)