After a fun-filled day on the river, the boys were jumping off the roof of a pier into the water. As a mother, I was holding my breath with each jump, over and over again. Moms out there, you know this oh so well. It had been done all summer long; even dad had to partake in the fun. Why would we foresee anything going badly? Unfortunately, it did. As a boy jumped into the river off the ladder, the ladder lost its stability and began tumbling down into the water. Our son was right beneath the ladder. As soon as he surfaced from the water, fear took over, and I instantly knew we needed to call for help. The first few hours at the hospital were critical as the doctors and specialists were determining the severity of the injury. My husband and I were asked to step back as the neurologist and his team examined our son for life-threatening injuries. As we gripped hands, we cried out to our God to provide supernatural healing for our son in the name of Jesus. After several tests were run and imaging was completed, the team of doctors told us that it was a miracle he did not have any life-altering injuries. In that moment, the love for my Savior, my spouse and my sons grew immeasurably. I have found that in times of our deepest despair, spiritual growth happens. Desperation brings us to a place of complete surrender. Surrendering to Christ allows us to understand who we belong to and begin to understand His love for us. Gripping my husband’s hand that night will always remind me of my responsibility in loving him and aligning myself with him just as I am called to do with my Creator.
When we align ourselves with Christ, we find freedom and truly understand how to love and serve our spouse unconditionally. We are able to comprehend what love is, because He first loved us. Jesus Christ is the agent of creation; if we mirror His ways and walk knowing our place, exalting Him in everything, our relationship with our spouse will work. Better yet, it will thrive. We will have the supernatural ability to pour out love, understanding, sacrifice, and adoration for our spouse. And more importantly, God our Creator will be glorified.
Before the devastating effects of sin entered the world, God’s eternal design for marriage is declared in Genesis chapter 2 verse 24. “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” The “one flesh” relationship describes what He intended of our relationship with our spouse. Not only are we one physically, but also spiritually, mentally and emotionally. A harmonious relationship, being properly aligned, has been demonstrated for us since the very beginning of creation. Marriage was created by Him for us to enjoy because He loves us.
In chapter five of Ephesians, Paul reminds us of the relationship between husband and wife and how it is compared with that between Christ and the church:
Wives submit to your own husbands as to the Lord, for the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of the body. Now as the church submits to Christ, so wives are to submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word. He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless. In the same way, husbands are to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hates his own flesh but provides and cares for it, just as Christ does for the church since we are members of His body. (Ephesians 5:22-30)
Marriage can be HARD. It brings forth challenges, misunderstanding, strife, and the list goes on. Our only hope is to apply God’s teaching to align ourselves with our spouse. As women, we are called to submit to our husbands as Christ submits to the church. This submission is patterned after Christ’s example and reflects the essence of the gospel. Jesus’ love for the church was self-sacrificing. Paul addresses all husbands to love their wives just as Christ loved the church; this is a continual love with a deliberate attitude leading to action. What a beautiful picture of covenant love? Paul’s illustration of God’s intention for marriage is that of a wife who is submitting to her husband as to the Lord and a husband sacrificing his rights for the good of his wife. If we can live this out, God will be glorified in and through our marriage.
As we fix our eyes on Jesus, our perception of our spouse changes for the better. We can view one another through the lens of Christ. We must get this right. Alignment with our Creator and our Savior will provide alignment in our marriages. He will move in mighty ways if we mirror His ways. Turn your focus to the perfect love, the perfect romance.