As I grow older, I begin to see the gospel more apparent in everyday life. My reformed theology has become the lens through which I perceive my surroundings. Although my sanctification seems to be a slow but steady process, this lens has changed how I interact with the world we live in and more specifically, my marriage. Not only does the gospel influence our marriage, but marriage is not anything other than the beauty that is the Gospel.
At the foolish age of 20 I met the most beautiful girl I had ever seen and couldn’t help but get to know her. Somehow, through all my brokenness, the Holy Spirit regenerated her through our friendship. What a testament of irresistible grace! We began to date and walk through the scriptures together. It was so beautiful to watch the Holy Spirit sanctifying someone so dear to me right in front of my eyes. No less than two months in we happened upon Ephesians 5:22.
“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,” Ephesians 5:22-25 ESV
I stopped, stared at the following 11 verses knowing that I had hit a fork in the road. I knew that if I continued reading, we would end up getting married or break up then and there. I knew she had never seen or even heard of a stable marriage let alone a biblical one.
With faith in God’s sovereignty and fear of how she would react I began reading. I watched as the word “submit” hit her like biting into a lemon but urged her to stick with me. Reading through verse 25, there was a perplexed look on her face as we ventured into the role of a husband she had never heard of. As we wrapped up in verse 33 and began discussing what we just read, I saw a peace come over her and a lightbulb go off. She realized the beauty of the marriage that God designed and intended and also brought back something wonderful that she had only experienced months prior, her salvation. She saw that when Paul talks about marriage, he cannot avoid talking about the Gospel. Just two verses in and he’s comparing the roles of husband and wife to the roles of Christ and his church!
I believe this is the first time I truly comprehended the depth of marriage. Marriage isn’t about finally getting to have sex, having kids or growing old with someone; those are wonderful and God glorifying things. Marriage is about the Gospel. Marriage is about a man loving his bride to the deepest extent of the word, that he may lay down his life for her. Marriage is solely a mirror for the Gospel
After we finished discussing Ephesians 5:22-33, she looked at me and said, “I want that,” and I did too. After that, we went into what many people would probably call courting. I proposed 4 months into dating, on Christmas morning, and we were married 8 months later in August. We are continuing to figure this whole marriage thing out, but it is always evident, in good times and bad, that marriage is the beauty that is the Gospel.