Marriage as an Act of Worship
The famous hymn “Victory in Jesus” talks about all love being due [Jesus]. The Bible makes this clear, too, that all love, honor, and respect belongs to Christ. If that is the case, then where does romance fit into the life of a Christian? At first glance, this could seem like a legitimate conundrum. Is marriage excluded in Christianity? Certainly not! In fact, Scripture shows us that God has a specific purpose for these relationships.
If nothing else, marriage is a constant opportunity to practice loving your neighbor, which is the second greatest commandment according to Jesus. Therefore loving someone else is an act of obedience to Christ. Likewise, in the New Testament men are commanded to love their wives as Christ loves the church. In the closing chapters of Revelation, the church is called the Bride of Christ, which we will talk about in a moment, but it provides for us a glimpse of the divine purpose of marriage.
What kind of love is this anyway? It seems pretty easy to love one another until you look at who’s commanding the love. A love commanded by God can be nothing less than divine in nature. What does divine love even look like? It looks like Jesus, 100% God, 100% man. A member of the substance of the Trinity. The King of Glory who reigns forever and ever. It looks like the Lord of lords dying on a torture device called a cross for sins He never committed. This is love. Selfless, pure, shameless love. Divine love is an action, an attitude, and a lifestyle.
Okay, so we’re commanded to love each other. That doesn’t mean we get to have romance. And Paul says it’s better not to marry, so what gives? First, Paul said that because of the persecution the church was facing at the time (1 Corinthians 7).
Second, God created a man called Adam at the beginning of time and created a woman called Eve to be a helper for him. God performed their wedding ceremony and away the first bride. And that was before there was hardness in the hearts of men. In Revelation, God makes the analogy between the Son’s relationship to the Church and a husband’s relationship to his wife. That’s a big deal!
Clearly God has a high view of marriage! He also clearly has a purpose for it besides “Be fruitful and multiply” (although this is a purpose, too). The standard of Christlike love in a marriage has a much deeper meaning than “simple” action. It is meant to be the picture of Christ’s love for us. As a Christian, your marriage is an example of what a relationship with Christ should look like.
Now, as two fallen people in a divine relationship, there will, of course, be problems. Someone will offend. Someone will get angry. Someone will get upset. Someone will be irritated. The real indicator of the Christ-likeness of the relationship is how we respond to these situations. Quickly repenting and asking for forgiveness in humility. Seeking to build each other up instead of tearing each other down.
What is a marriage relationship supposed to look like? Like our relationship with Christ. How do we know what the standard for this is supposed to be? By looking to the pages of Scripture. Passages such as Exodus 20 and Matthew 5, 6, and 7 are good places to start.
There is so much that could be said about how to pursue a relationship with Christ, but that is beyond the scope of this article. However, a serious, thoughtful perusal of God’s Word is the best and only authority for divine, Christlike relationships. Ultimately, every relationship we are in is a worship opportunity, but marriage is a worship responsibility that should be taken seriously. Marriage is not excluded in Christianity, and neither is romance.
It is all for His glory.