This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. Ephesians 5:32
With God, nothing is purposeless. Everything He does, everything He creates, and all of His plans have a purpose. This is true with marriage. Marriage is not something God designed randomly or haphazardly. He designed marriage very intentionally. If you're wondering what its purpose is, let me give you a hint. The purpose of marriage is not primarily for our benefit. It's for His'. When modeled well, marriage serves the purpose of revealing Christ to the rest of the watching world.
All week, we have been talking about marriage, and there is one fact that must not be missed: marriage serves a greater purpose than our happiness. In fact, the purpose of marriage is far greater than for us. Ephesians 5:32 teaches us that marriage illustrates the relationship between Christ and the Church. You see, when marriages are healthy, they point others to Christ. As people submit to each other, as spouses respect each other, and as they look out for each other's interests, those watching get a glimpse of how Christ loves them. Christ spared nothing to save the Church; He even gave up His own life. When those watching see Christians demonstrating that kind of love and respect for their spouses, the world stops and wonders how someone can have that kind of love. As they watch, they will see a small picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church. This, my friends, is the purpose of marriage: to point people to Christ.
When is the last time you thought about the fact that the purpose of a godly marriage is to point others to Christ? If you are married, do you find yourself only thinking of the ways that marriage can benefit you? Or do you seek, above all else, to create a picture of Christ's relationship with the Church, or those who are followers of Jesus? If you are single, this is a good time to do a pulse check: do you expect marriage to be for your benefit, or do you expect marriage to be for Christ's. My friend, when we shift our perspective and gain a picture of the purpose of marriage, knowing that it is not about us, then our marriages, and all of our relationships, will more clearly reflect Christ to the rest of the world.
If you are married, your assignment today is to sit down with your spouse and talk about your marriage. What's going well? What needs help? Is your marriage pointing other people to Christ? If so, how can you keep pointing others to Christ through your marriage? If not, what strategic changes can you make so that your marriage points others to Christ? If you are single, your assignment is also to evaluate your life. Are you glorifying God with your life by pointing others to Christ? If not, what changes can you make so that your life models Christ to a world that is in desperate need of Him?
Read Colossians 3:1-11 (NLT)
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, uncivilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.