This upcoming weekend many of our younger families from Wellspring will be heading to the coast for a Marriage Retreat. Couples eagerly look forward to this time away to focus on God and to grow in their covenant commitment to their spouses. Few things are as important as healthy marriages that rightly glorify God. Marriage is the foundational building block of the church and society. And most importantly, it was designed to display the gospel. We know everything God has created is intended to glorify Him, and marriage is no exception. In fact, Paul says in Ephesians 5:31-32 that the whole point of marriage is to be a picture of the gospel.
“‘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.”
What God instituted in the Garden of Eden between the first man and woman (Gen 2:24) was patterned after the eternally decreed plan of redemption between the Father, Son, and Spirit. In this plan of redemption, Christ thought of Himself as a Bridegroom coming for His bride, the elect people of God. And Christ paid a dowry for His bride, which was His own blood (Eph 5:25), poured out as He offered up His life on the cross for our sins that He might redeem us for Himself. And this relationship with Jesus as our husband is called the New Covenant. He obtains His bride by blood in a new covenant, an unshakable marriage to her. And that is why the most ultimate thing we can say about marriage is that it is for the glory of God to display the sacrificial, unbreakable covenant relationship of Christ to His church. How you treat your spouse and honor your covenant has more eternal significance than we could ever dream.
Marriage is not most ultimately about your joy and happiness, nor your spouse’s. Rather, marriage exists most ultimately for magnifying the glory of Christ’s redeeming, covenant-keeping love for His church. And when we are treating marriage as firstly about the glory of Christ, we will truly find our greatest happiness and joy.
Pray for the couples on the marriage retreat and for all the couples of our church that we would discover afresh how everything exists to display the glory of God, including our marriages.