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  1. Day 1 - On the Difference Between Living for Jesus and Living from Jesus
  2. Day 2 - Why the Bible Was Not Written for the World
  3. Day 3 - Why Do We Think Spiritual Blessings Are Immaterial?
  4. Day 4 - Are You Adopted?
  5. Day 5 - Why God’s Plan Is Not for My Life
  6. Day 6 - Only Two Kinds of People
  7. Day 7 - Would the Real Seekers Please Stand Up?
  8. Day 8 - Meet the Fellowship of the Holy Discontents
  9. Day 9 - Why We Must Understand the Real Problem
  10. Day 10 - On Starting Downton Abbey at Season Six
  11. Day 11 - On Starting a Jigsaw Puzzle at the Center
  12. Day 12 - On Picking up Our Pieces and Making Our Own Puzzle
  13. Day 13 - Those Walls of Hostility
  14. Day 14 - On Building Fireplaces
  15. Day 15 - From Amazing Grace to Astonishing Grace
  16. Day 16 - On the Difference between Information and Revelation
  17. Day 17 - Are You Aware of Your Inner Being?
  18. Day 18 - Why Love Must Become More Than We Thought It Was
  19. Day 19 - Are You Filled with the Fullness of God?
  20. Day 20 - Why Discipleship to Jesus outside of Relationships with Others Is Not Discipleship to Jesus
  21. Day 21 - One Body, Twenty-Something-Thousand Denominations?
  22. Day 22 - Why Down Is the New Up
  23. Day 23 - Calling All Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists
  24. Day 24 - The Challenge of Growing up as a Grown-Up
  25. Day 25 - The Two Groups Down at the Church
  26. Day 26 - How Behavior Management Stunts Your Growth
  27. Day 27 - Would the Real Me Please Come Forth?
  28. Day 28 - The Junior-High Beast Within
  29. Day 29 - On Shifting the Center of Gravity in Your Life
  30. Day 30 - So What Are You (Really) Angry About?
  31. Day 31 - Until the Pattern Is a Person, It Remains a Puzzle
  32. Day 32 - The Real Problem with Acceptable Pornography
  33. Day 33 - On the Personal Devastation and Communal Decimation of Sexual Sin
  34. Day 34 - The Least Asked Most Important Question of Our Time
  35. Day 35 - Addicted to the Holy Spirit
  36. Day 36 - Why Love Is Blind and Marriage Is an Eye-Opener (Part 1 of 3)
  37. Day 37 - Why Love Is Blind and Marriage Is an Eye-Opener (Part 2 of 3)
  38. Day 38 - Why Love Is Blind and Marriage Is an Eye-Opener (Part 3 of 3)
  39. Day 39 - The Secret to Extraordinary Parenting
  40. Day 40 - On Telling the Impossible Story to Impossible Situations
  41. Day 41 - The Surprising Way of Becoming Strong in the Lord
  42. Day 42 - And though This World with Devils Filled . . .
  43. Day 43 - One Little Word Shall Fell Him
  44. Day 44 - Thanks, Tychicus
  45. Day 45 - The Grace and Peace of Puzzle Work
Lesson 38 of 45
In Progress

Day 38 – Why Love Is Blind and Marriage Is an Eye-Opener (Part 3 of 3)

Ephesians 5:31–33 ESV

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Consider This

Years ago, a wise old mentor gave me some advice on the eve of my wedding. I will always remember one thing he said. “Love is blind, but marriage is an eye-opener.” Here is part three of this three-part series on Christian marriage.

Three times the Bible gives us these words: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.

Genesis 2:24 offers it in the context of the creation of the world and the joining of Adam and Eve. Matthew 19:5 shares the text in the setting of Jesus’ response to the Pharisees questioning him about divorce. And, of course, Paul shares the words with the Ephesians.

For this reason. For this reason. For this reason. Only it never explicitly tells us the reason. Given the unique contexts of each setting, I will take a crack at it.

In Genesis 1 the reason for marriage strikes me as vocational. The vocation is to oversee, steward, care for, and further populate the whole creation. While that would not be unique to married couples today, it should remain as a clear purpose of the institution’two image-bearers of God becoming one flesh by serving one visionary purpose.

In Matthew 19 the reason for marriage strikes me as transformational. After citing the text at hand, Jesus responded to their point about Moses permitting divorce. “He said to them, ‘Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so’” (v. 8 esv). Marriage is a crucible of sorts, which is a container made to withstand great heat for the purpose of melting and forging precious metals. It’s why marriage is not contractual but covenantal. Contracts are written with language anticipating breach. Not so with covenants, which, biblically speaking, are sealed in terms of life and death.

It’s especially interesting when you consider that “crucible” comes from the Latin word crux, meaning “cross.” God intends marriage to be a place where hardness of heart and any number of character flaws and defects might be brought to the surface and skimmed away like dross. Two image-bearers of God becoming one flesh by becoming of one heart.

I propose the reason given for marriage in Ephesians 5 is doxological. Christian marriage is meant to give glory to God. “Doxology,” a fancy word for “worship,” takes place when revelation inspires response.

This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.

The revelation of Christ inspires a response of worship from the church. Christian marriage serves as a type of everyday temple where Christ reveals himself through the sacrificial love of husband and wife. As couples offer themselves up to God for the blessing and benefit of the other, the world witnesses something of the splendor of holiness.

It’s amazing how expressions of lower-archy inspire awe in those who behold. Jesus washing his disciples’ feet offers a fitting example. All these years later and we still can’t stop talking about it. Two image-bearers of God becoming one flesh by becoming of one mind’the mind of Christ.

Maybe you’ve seen the billboards around the country that contain messages from God. In white letters across a black background, they say things like, “I miss how you used to talk to me when you were a kid.—God,” and “If you must curse, use your own name!—God.” My all-time favorite is the one that says, “Loved the wedding. Invite me to the marriage.—God.”

Something about a wedding where you know Jesus has been invited to the marriage gladdens the hearts of everyone around. Something about it sets the world right again.

Marriage figures prominently in the plan of God. The world began with a wedding, where our eyes were opened to the image of God. Jesus’ first miracle happened at a wedding, where our eyes were opened to the Son of God. The world will end with a wedding, where our eyes will be opened to the ultimate glory of God.

As the hymn writer has it in the great hymn, “It Is Well with My Soul”:

O Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
the clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
the trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend;
even so, it is well with my soul.

Love is blind, but marriage is an eye-opener.

The Prayer

Abba Father, we thank you for your Son, Jesus, who has loved us beyond our capacity to comprehend. We pray for more marriages through which we might behold the glory of God. Married or not, awaken us to your purposes for marriage. In Jesus’ name, amen.

The Questions

Which of the three reasons for marriage most resonates with you? Why?

Which of the three most challenges you? Why?

Whose marriages will you seek to encourage in the coming days?