The wind whipped fiercely across the boulder field, dropping air temperatures below freezing. Though the sunset was perfectly glorious amid the horizon of mountainous silhouettes, less daylight meant a greater danger. Fortunately, I was not alone. My husband, Adam, (whom I was dating at the time), was with me. We began the strenuous hike up to Long's Peak in the early daylight with two friends.
Together, we hiked the majority of the way up, then separated once Adam and I began scrambling to the summit at a faster pace. Our plan was to meet back with our companions in the boulder field on the way back down the trail. The problem was, minutes of waiting turned into hours, and the wind chill forced us to seek shelter behind huge rock piles. All we had was one snack and some water left to share between the two of us. We had no idea if our friends were okay, and if they were, at what point we'd see them again.
It was a long, exhausting day. Thankfully, all of us survived the trek and arrived to our base camp past midnight. The journey left us physically, mentally, and emotionally drained. Imagine—Adam and I were only one month into our dating relationship. It came as no surprise, then, that we dated for a few short months before we were engaged. It turns out, our numerous back country adventures allowed us to get to know each other quite well.
Today, we boast eleven years of marriage. In every way, we brought our survivalist mentalities to our marriage. And praise God for his gift—because marriage is hard! We've dragged ourselves through many challenging days. Though they are nothing like surviving unpredictable nature, they do hammer at you like the forces of nature. But despite long days, dependent children, dateless months, unplanned illnesses, financial hardship, and sexual temptations—divorce is never an option.
Because there's nothing Christian about divorce. God hates divorce. (Malachi 2:16).
And though there are a few exceptions, (Matthew 5:32) God ultimately desires for us to keep the covenant relationship with our spouse. But why? Isn't a wedding ceremony just for show? People get divorces all the time—why do Christians have to stay married?
“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.”
Ephesians 5:23-24, NIV
Marriage is a reflection of the covenant between God and his people. John MacArthur expounds by saying, “The sacredness of the church is wed to the sacredness of marriage; so by your marriage, you are either a symbol or a denial of Christ and his church, (MacArthur, J. The Fulfilled Family. Chicago Moody Press).
Undoubtedly, a godly marriage can be a great witness of the gospel.
Guarding it is a continual process. It begins by faithfully sowing time with the Lord. Perhaps today, it will also involve prayerful consideration of the following questions:
In what ways do I submit to my husband? (Ephesians 5:22)
Do my actions communicate respect to my husband? (Ephesians 5:33)
How can I pray for my husband? (Ephesians 5:25-26)
Ultimately, our motivation for a God-honoring marriage should develop out of our desire to live in reverence for Christ, ( Ephesians 5:21, NIV).
So, then, what about you? Does your marriage reflect or reject the gospel?
Today we begin the final two weeks of the Ephesians study. It will cover chapters five and six. Click here to download the reading guide. Complete it at your own pace. It's intended for individual Bible study. Be sure to subscribe by clicking here, so you can receive free printables throughout the year, (including one at the end of this study). Follow me on Facebook by "liking" my page. Show your support of this ministry, by simply sharing it with friends. Thanks for your support!
Photo: Jon Asato