21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Dr. Wile E. Coyote and I are going through this book called “The Momentary Marriage” by John Piper—I recommend it to anyone. It explains the marriage relationship between Christ and the Church pretty well, and also talks about human marriage here on earth some. It is a book for anyone—Dr. Coyote and I just decided to go through it together now, because we talked about going through it someday. But seriously. When he’s in med school and I have a full-time job or something, we are NOT going to have time to do that. I digress.
Dr. WEC mentioned to me this morning while we were Skyping that he hadn’t thought much before about being a bride—the bride of Christ. It’s weird for guys to proclaim that they are Bride of the Most High. I mean, it’s easy for girls. I grew up boosting my self-esteem by declaring myself the beautiful bride of Christ. No boys at school will date me? That’s okay, Jesus is going to marry me, so it’s kinda like we’re dating when I’m reading the Word and journaling my prayers to him. Again, digressing.
Men, you are the BRIDE OF CHRIST. Your wives are called to submit to you, and you are the head of your marriage and your family. (But they are the neck.) You are called to submit to Christ, who is YOUR head, the head of the Church. (And God is the head of Christ!) As Christ loves the church, makes her holy, and washes her with water through the word, so also, you men are called to love your wives, point her to Christ, and bathe her in scripture.
So, we are also reading the book together called “Intended for Pleasure” by Ed Wheat, MD and Gaye Wheat. I recommend this book for couples to read as they do premarital counseling. Chapter 3 goes through Biblical principles of marriage, and it’s really great and lining up with other things we’re studying together (it’s like they’re all based of the message of a single and greater being than all of us—oh wait). I think it was this book that talked about how submission comes from within. And going back to Piper’s book, I just finished a chapter that talked about how conditions on the inside lead to demeanors on the outside. “12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” (Colossians 3:12-13). In other words, mercy (compassionate hearts), humility, and patience (endurance) on the inside of us leads to kindness, meekness, and bearing with one another/forgiveness. I believe submission is the outward expression of our inner love and joy for the person we’re submitting to. I find it a whole lot easier to do what I’m told when I’m not mad at the request-giver. In John 14:15, Jesus tells his disciples, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” I love my Lord and Savior with all of me. I also love and respect my hubby-to-be. So, out of that love and respect and joy from being with him and talking with Dr. Coyote, I will heed his suggestions (yes D, I stretched longer today and did yoga for, like, 15 minutes after all my roommates left).
I love how Paul takes Genesis 2:24 (quoted in verse 32 of passage above), a verse that talks about marriage, and points it to Christ. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” Jesus left his father to come down to earth. He paid the ransom for the Church—his bride—so that he could be united with her. When Jesus Christ returns, we will be astounded in glory and the marriage of the Lamb to the Church will take place. Gah! When I look up (look toward Christ and not myself), I just get all happy and stuff.
So, I’m sorry that this post jumped around some, but I just wanted to share all the exciting things I’m learning! Thanks for tuning in.