June 24, 2011

Living Marriage

1 Peter 3:1-7

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:21


Much has been said about the “crisis of marriage.” Same-sex unions, adultery, co-habitation, and pornography all challenge God’s design of marriage as a one man, one woman union defined by loyalty and fidelity.

The solution is found in the faithful practice of mutual submission. Whether the chosen phrase is “submit yourselves” or “be considerate,” the key qualifier is “in the same way.” God calls husbands and wives to imitate Christ by living as sacrificial servants to one another. How?

First, a Christian couple lives in reverence for the Lord. God, not humanity, created marriage. God’s will, not our own, is to be honored in it. Next, couples are to embrace the inner beauty of Christ-centered purity and respect. Such character builds trust and security, deepens commitment and fidelity, and ensures the joy of permanence. Finally, a couple’s uncompromising love and faithfulness serve as a living example of God’s generous love that is able to win over others.

The “crisis of marriage” will be solved when couples courageously “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” In fact, marriages rooted in and reflective of his loyalty, fidelity, and permanence are necessary for a society to be healthy!

What is the story told by your marriage?

Lord, we praise you for your constant faithfulness and love in Jesus Christ. Help us to imitate your love in marriage and in all other relationships. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Calvin Hoogendoorn

Rev. Calvin Hoogendoorn serves as senior pastor of First Christian Reformed Church in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Previously he served two churches in Illinois. He and his wife, Carla, have three daughters.

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