I was reading Randy Alcorn’s Heaven and struck about how little I think about how the believer’s life is preparation for eternity. Yes, I have heard this statement probably a million times but to actually start piecing together the believer’s relationships and then to parallel them to our relationship to God in Christ is astonishing.
I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church
“Wives,be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH. This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” (Eph 5:22-32)
These verses are a beautiful portrayal of a loving marriage relationship. The wife’s loving submission to the husband and the husbands loving leadership and ministry to his wife to love and “wash” her with the word. In the midst of this great exhortation on being godly spouses Paul, through the Holy Spirit, throws us a curve ball: “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.” My natural inclination while reading imperatives is to start a checklist, “Okay, let see….hmmm: Husband (that’s me) Lead…Ok…..Love your wife….needs work….” So on and so forth. Christian, you do not get off that easy! These are all shadows of things to come. Yes and amen, these imperatives need our obedience! But these imperatives are founded on the very fact that Christ Himself is OUR HUSBAND. He is the lover who washes us in the word and tenderly cares for us as the weaker being. He made the ultimate sacrifice which resulted in a union with His beloved bride. He endured the agony of the cross and the wrath of the Father to reconcile all who believe on Him and said work on the cross. Those who marry look upon your marriage with the eyes of eternity. We will eternally have an intimate relationship with our Creator. He will know us and we will walk before Him unashamed thoroughly washed eternally by His Word made flesh!