We are living in a culture that has lost the greater story of love and marriage. Love and romance are pursued as ends to themselves, and marriage is often seen as the funeral to both love and romance.
The Bible, however, tells a different story. Love and romance are actually part of the greater story of marriage, and marriage is part of the even greater story of Christ and His Bride, the Church. As the Church, it’s up to us to make the true story of love and marriage both visible and beautiful to those around us.
To do that, we must know three things, and do three things:
- Marriage is bigger than wedding cake. God created the first marriage to be more than an event or ceremony; He created it to be a living and breathing display of His glory. Adam and Eve were meant to use their marriage to fill the earth with God’s glory, and so are you. (Genesis 1:27-28)
- Marriage is better than the honeymoon. We often think the honeymoon stage is the best, because the bride and groom are still excited and happy together. But Paul tells us there is actually something greater than just “honeymoon happiness”, and that’s living out the drama of Christ and His Church through the way we love and interact with our spouses (Ephesians 5:30-33). The goal of marriage is not just happiness, but to show the gospel to the world, by our happiness.
- Marriage will end. The words “Till death do us part” sting with the reality that death will part you and your spouse one day. Therefore don’t make your marriage just about your marriage, or all will be lost when death comes. Instead, use your marriage to tell the truth about the forever marriage that death cannot touch (Revelation 19).
- Love Jesus more than your spouse. If you love your spouse the most, you will view them as a god rather than the precious gift they are. The truth is, spouses are wonderful gifts, but terrible gods. So make sure you love Jesus more than your spouse, and by doing so you will love your spouse better.
- Make Jesus the center of your marriage. It’s easy to build your marriage on things like kids, homes, jobs, vacations, dreams, pleasure, money, etc. But if any of these are the center of your marriage, your marriage is doomed to fail, because all these things will eventually fail. So instead, make Jesus the center of your marriage, because He cannot and will not ever fail.
- Don’t build a perfect marriage, but use your marriage to build God’s perfect kingdom. If you seek to build the perfect marriage, you will soon realize you can’t, because you yourself aren’t perfect. So instead of trying to be the perfect bride or groom, use your marriage to shine light on the only perfect Groom (Jesus).
Church, let us remember that love is about marriage, and marriage is about the Gospel. And let us have great marriages that are full of love and romance, not simply because marriage is so great (though it is), but because there is actually something much greater than our marriages, and that’s the marriage to come.