The Key: The Husband in a Marriage Model
Let’s look first to the sanctity of Christian marriage before we look at the Church, for their lies the understanding we need to solve this mystery. Although Ephesians 5:22 starts with an exhortation to the wives to submit to their husbands, I want us to look at what they are to submit themselves to! What is the role of the husband in a Christian marriage according to this passage in Ephesians? “(a) Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, (b) cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (c) In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the Church -- for we are members of his body. (d) “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
Let’s look at the first part of this passage: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy.” We need to put John 3:16 beside this passage to understand it. “God so loved (revealing the heart of the Father) to the world gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. Men, we are suppose to love (reveal the heart of the Father to) your wives, just as Christ loved [revealed the heart of His Father to] the church and gave himself up for her. Men, our purpose in marriage is to reveal the heart of the Father to our wives, but the question remains, “How do we do that?”
At a church men’s retreat the speaker taught us what that meant through a simple diagram.
All throughout Jesus’ life, He was always obedient to the Father because He wanted to reveal the heart of His Father to the world. He often tried to teach his disciples “If you have seen me you have seen the Father, because I and My Father are one”. Often Jesus would retreat to desolate places to spend time with his Father, only to return and do miracles, because the way Jesus operated in ministry was by looking to his Father, by listening to Him, then by being obedient to what he had seen and heard. That is the life of obedience, the life style Jesus followed. Everything Jesus did, everything, was done out of obedience to his Father, so it would be obvious that the two of them were one! The reason Jesus died on the cross was because his Father told him to do it. He did it out of obedience to his Father. He did it out of love. He did it to “reveal the heart of His Father”. That revelation came through obedience.
God placed Adam on earth to inhabit it, but as we all know, Adam sinned and the rest is history. The “heart of the Father” was to restore Adam, or man, to the rightful position for which he originally created. In order to do that satan, who had become prince of the air or earth, had to be defeated. Only the shedding blood could restore the broken covenant with God, so He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for the lost and rebirth his body, the Church. God loved the Church so much that he was willing to give His Son’s life for its redemption. Jesus, in obedience to the Father to reveal His Father’s heart, was willing to lay down his life for his brethren to restore them to what they were originally intended to be, children of God. At Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection came the redemption and restoration of God’s children with Adam being the first child and now Jesus being the first child through redemption, and the Church as we know it today was born. Jesus loved the Church so much that He was willing to die for it’s redemption only because he was willing to be obedient to His Father, wanting to reveal the heart of his Father to His creation.