The Lord our God chose to explain the relationship of Christ and the church as a marriage. We, the church, are the bride of Christ. Our relationship with Christ is marital in nature. Why? Because a marriage is a covenant—the highest form of promise with God. A covenant is not to be broken; it is to be honored and revered. Sadly, even though this is preached in churches all over, those in the churches do not practice the same honor of the covenant in their own homes.
How is a non-Christian expected to understand the depth of the bond and covenant of Christ to His bride when Christians are not representing that strong and faithful bond in their own marriages? Many people in our current society do not hold marriage to the same high regard that they did in biblical days. Many Christians are on their third marriages without any remorse of previous divorces. It is not that they are to live in shame, but they should acknowledge that they did not do things God’s way in the past and commit to living out His covenant plan now. Christians need to be more sensitive to the conviction that God has commanded that marriage be honorable among all. We must judge ourselves against the scripture: are our marriages honorable?
Every marriage is a message. One marriage may have the message that Christ is faithful to His bride; while another marriage may have the message that the love of Christians is not patient, kind or trusting or hopeful. Many non-Christians have heard 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, and they think, “Wow, well the Christians I know, were definitely not practicing that love of God in their homes.” They may be thinking that most of my Christian friend’s marriages ended in divorce. How does that rival “love never fails?” As a Christian, it is a heavy load to take on. We know that we are not perfect and that we need God to help us be a better spouse. But the narrow road is not easy, and God has called marriage to be the second greatest example of love (after Christ dying on the cross); however, if we are yoked up with God, Jesus says My yoke is easy and My burden is light. He would like to carry you in your marriage. God would like to help you live out His message in your marriage.
What is the message that your marriage is proclaiming? Is it one that shines forth the glory of the Lord? Is it one that says the covenant is to be honored? Is it one that declares the unfailing and faithful love of God? If it is not, get with your spouse and pray that the Lord may use your marriage as a tool to minister His goodness. Submit yourself to the Lord and allow Him to grow you in His love expressed.