Reflections on Marriage

Today, I watched two good friends of mine get married. Getting there took a three hour road trip to Pikeville with my dad, plus an hour or so of hair and makeup, but I’m willing to say that it was worth the time and effort. The bride and I suffered through Honors Rhetoric together my first semester, and I got to grow closer to Christ with them at my church in Richmond. I felt blessed to watch this man and woman of God pledge to love each other eternally, as God was their witness.

Toward the beginning of the ceremony, the officiating preacher read a passage from Ephesians 5 that can be summed up as “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church. Wives submit to your husbands as he is the head of the household.” I’m willing to admit that my feminine heart melts at a love like Christ’s love for us. But I’m also willing to admit that it recoils a bit at the idea of submission to a man. 

See, I’ve always been fiercely independent, yet I grew up painfully timid. So I grew up watching people use this to try to push me around and bend me to their will. And there I sat, too afraid to stand up for myself. So I fear that giving another person the power that comes with submission will result in a lifetime of not having a voice. 

But God in his wisdom gives a caveat to the command for wives to submit; the command for husband’s to love. Any notion of a husband dominating his wife is negated by his calling to love her as Jesus loved his church; as he sacrificed his very life for her, as he let his own body be broken for her, and as he braved the separation from God the Father that she had earned for herself. A husband leads his wife and his home not with authoritarian force, but as Christ led: by serving. 

May I add this disclaimer: I will always be the first one to say that a man and woman should equal partners in any relationship. Godly submission and equality are not mutually exclusive. Any two people may serve different roles, but neither is less important than the other. Just as the husband and wife have been given different roles by our Creator, but in the end, are just two imperfect humans working together to be one godly flesh. Even Jesus practiced submission: to the Father, and to death. But in the end, it became his glory.

May my married friends correct me if my thoughts prove to be wrong. And may God fill in what I don’t yet know. Marriage still scares me deeply, as we live in a vastly imperfect world with vastly imperfect people. But I fall back on what my mother always told me: when both spouses fix their eyes on God, everything runs more smoothly. I pray that in my life, married or single, this is always the case.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

A Website.

%d bloggers like this: