Ryan. My sweet, dear husband Ryan. I love him so much that mere words pale in comparison to what my heart feels for him.
The alarm rings. There’s a shuffling of the covers, a quick fumbling of what sounds like books and pens, and then soon it is quiet again. Later I hear the cries of our son waking up and then I don’t. I quickly fall back asleep. More time passes and the soft giggles of a happy infant gently wake me. He says good morning and prays for me.
My phone rings. OMW flashes on my screen. Soon I hear the front door open. Dumping his shoes at the door, a kiss and hug immediately greet me. Again, tiny, joyous giggles emerge from around my feet quickly moving toward him. Moments later the giggles turn into roaring laughter muffled by a closed-door. I start emptying the contents of his lunch bag left on the counter. Now, the real work begins.
The evidence of a home rampaged by a busy baby is all around. He changes a dirty diaper and entertains a curious baby. He puts away the dishes and empties the sink. He puts the clothes in the dryer and takes out the trash. Another round of laughter begins. After dinner, he gets the bible and reads with us. He gives our son a bath and soon he is ready for bed and asleep. Lastly, he cleans the kitchen. Through it all, he still asks me about my day.
Sacrifice. This is the best word I can use to describe my husband. Although he is not perfect, each day he pours himself out for me. He is constantly thinking of me over his own needs and desires. It never ceases to amaze me how every day, no matter what I have done or said, this routine remains consistent. The only reason for this type of sacrifice is love. I am so loved by him.
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.
God created marriage a beautiful masterpiece. In the same way that a painting points to a painter, creation points to a creator. God designed marriage for the purpose of showing the beauty of Christ and his bride, the church. You see, Jesus Christ left the glory of heaven, emptied himself by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:7 ESV). He walked this earth for 33 years and though He was tempted, He never sinned once. Then, He died on the cross and rose from the dead for every single person who has ever lived and will live.
Why would God, who is holy, perfect, and righteous become a man? It was His love for us. But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8 ESV). Christ died so that we could have a restored relationship with God. Every time I hear the good news that Jesus Christ died for my sins I am in awe at how much Jesus loves me. I have a deep respect for Christ for who He is, what He has done and continually does. Jesus Christ is God in the flesh, He died for my sins, rose from the dead, and now He is seated at the right hand of God interceding on my behalf. Look at it this way. Like a criminal in a courtroom, I am guilty before God, a holy judge, who has a duty to carry out perfect justice. I have broken God’s law and there is nothing I can do that would be good enough to set me free of the impending punishment that is mine. However, Jesus walks in on my behalf and says to God that he will pay my fine and I can walk out! It is out of great love that Jesus saved me. This acquittal is available to all who repent of their sins and trust completely in Christ for salvation.
What a mystery. That is the reaction that a Christian marriage should receive. When the world sees a man laying down his life for his wife and a woman deeply respecting her husband it should point them to the mystery that the gospel tells. His followers have hope and assurance that one day they will take part in the marriage banquet that awaits in heaven at the full revelation of this mystery.
However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. Ephesians 5:33
Each day as I see my husband pouring out his life for me, it is a sweet reminder of what Christ did for me. My husband’s daily sacrifice assures his love for me. This love propels my admiration and respect for him. Now, this is no easy task on either one of our parts. I wish I could say that this was always our reality but that would not be true. He and I are both sinful people prone to making mistakes and marriage takes work. A lot of work. Sometimes that means one of us faithfully obeying God in what He has commanded us to do in our specific role while bearing with the other (1 Corinthians 13:7). It is when we take our eyes off of each other and our focus on our own needs being met that this picture begins to develop. Instead, when we look to Christ who has promised to fulfill every need we will ever have, then our marriage will reflect this wonderful mystery.