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A Biblical Perspective on Marriage

by Lysa TerKeurst

Ephesians 5:32, "This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the
church." (NIV)

A newspaper on the West Coast ran this ad: "Wedding Rings for Annual Lease." I
guess this company decided to capitalize on the growing market of those who enter
into marriage with an escape clause.

Having an escape mentality when it comes to your marriage is a deception straight

from the Devil. Satan knows that if he can deceive you into breaking the covenant
you made before God to love, honor, respect, and cherish your spouse, he has a
foothold to destroy your relationship with God as well. Ephesians 5 describes
marriage as the physical representation of a beautiful spiritual truth: Christ is our
Bridegroom and the church is His beloved bride. To distort our view of earthly
marriage is to shake our relationship with God to its core.

Many Christians enter marriage without fully understanding God's design for the
heavenly purpose behind the union. Perhaps this is why so many couples in the
church today, also wind up in divorce. Wrapped up in this connection between our
earthly bridegroom and our heavenly Bridegroom rest three components that can
help a marriage last. Take a look at them below:

1. Pursuing an intimate relationship with God. Whether you are single or

married, understating that Christ is the only One who can fully meet all our needs is
essential for having a healthy, biblical perspective on marriage. At the beginning of
my marriage, I was constantly frustrated with my husband's inability to meet my
needs. I thought he was the problem until God broke through my self-centered
attitude with the truth that He never intended my husband to meet them in the first
place. God created us with a void that only He can fill. For me to think that my
husband should even try to do this is impossible. As I began to seek Jesus, allowing
Him to fill me with His love, I was eventually transformed into the wife my husband
needed and deserved. I'm only his bride for a short time on earth, but one day I will
be united to my heavenly Bridegroom and He will take my hand in an eternal

2. Pursuing an intimate relationship with your spouse. Are you one who
approaches your prayer time with a list of things you want God to do for you,
instead of asking God what you can do to better serve Him? If you are, you aren't
alone. However, whether we realize it or not, many of us are living out our
marriages in the same self-centered mode. Instead of demanding your own way,
ask your husband what he would like to see happen in your relationship. Spend time
talking about ways to get to know one another more intimately and be willing to
serve him as you would Christ.

3. Pursuing a healthy acceptance of yourself. I remember standing at the altar

on my wedding day wondering if I could really love my husband as I was promising.
How was I supposed to love someone else when I didn't even love myself? It wasn't
until I understood my identity in Christ that my whole perspective changed. Adam
and Eve felt perfectly comfortable with who they were, and each was accepted by
the other until they sinned. Then they made coverings with fig leaves and we too
have been trying to cover our imperfect selves ever since. When I finally saw my
sinful self as a dearly loved child of God, I could then see my husband as one as
well. By loving yourself, you will be able to love your husband more fully.

As you begin to understand God's perfect and unfailing love, you will begin to
delight in His ability to be all that you need. When you approach the throne of God
with a heart that desires to serve, He makes you ready to not only be the cherished
bride of your husband, but the bride of an eternal union (Rev 21:2) When you see
your sinful self cleansed and purified by the covering of Jesus' sacrificial blood, you
will begin to see your imperfect significant other with the same love and grace Jesus
had for you.

My Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, give me a right view of what biblical
marriage is all about. Help me to see the spiritual truths in the union that I am a
part of so that my marriage may be full and happy. Help me to cling to You first and
foremost so that my fullness in You may pour over into my marriage.

Application Steps:

Here are some ways you can apply the three components of comparing our earthly
bridegroom to our heavenly Bridegroom.

1. If you are deeply wounded because your spouse hasn't met a spiritual or
emotional need that you so desperately want met, take it to Jesus. Ask Him alone to
fill that void and declare Him to be your perfect Husband.

2. To open the lines of communication between you and your spouse, start by
asking a few of the following questions about what he wants from your marriage:

* How can I be a better friend to you?

* How, in your opinion, can I be a better person?

* Talk to me about your aims and goals.

* In what ways can I better help you succeed in life?

3. Start loving yourself by recognizing that you have stolen God's heart with "one
glance of your eyes" (Song of Solomon 4:9). Also, your body is the temple of the
Holy Spirit. How would you revere the house of God? Remember that you, too, are
that house.

Reflection Points:

1. In what way can you strengthen your relationship with Christ?

2. In what way can you humble yourself before your husband to serve him?

3. What changes in your mentality need to be made in order for you to see yourself
as a beloved child of God?

Power Verses:

•Genesis 2:25, "The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."

•Jeremiah 2:2, "I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved
me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown." (NIV)

•Ephesians 5:28-31, "[She] who loves [her husband] loves [herself]. After all, no
one ever hated [her] own body, but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does
the church - for we are members of his body." (NIV)

•Revelation 22:17, "The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears
say, 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him
take the free gift of the water of life." (NIV)

•Malachi 2:16, "'I hate divorce,' says the Lord God of Israel, 'and I hate a man's
covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,' says the Lord
Almighty." (NIV)

Additional Resources:

• Capture His Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst

• Becoming the Woman of His Dreams, by Sharon Jaynes

• A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life, by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes