from Pastor George Sasso, CCCH Marriage & Family Ministry
and Kurt Bruner, The Center for Strong Families
No man plans to become part of a broken family or a miserable couple. We marry because we yearn for a life-long, thriving relationship. So, how can men become intentional about building a God-honoring marriage?
We must understand that every marriage is intended to be a masterpiece reflecting THE marriage between God and His people. Marriage is the most frequent metaphor used in the Bible to describe God’s relationship with His people. In fact, writing to the Ephesians, Paul called marriage a “profound mystery” because it is a picture of “Christ and the church.”
Today’s civil marriages are much like business contracts—easy to get into and easy to get out of. God’s covenant with His people was a promise to remain eternally faithful even if His people weren’t faithful in return. In covenant marriage, both spouses are committed for a lifetime—in sickness and health, for better or worse. They don’t threaten divorce or consider it as an option.
Couples aren’t supposed to just stick it out and find a way to make their marriages survive. God calls us to pursue a passionate, thriving marriage. The Song of Solomon expresses the kind of love, joy and celebration God designed for marriage. That passion is built on much more than infatuation and sexual desire. It is rooted in the physical, emotional and spiritual intimacy God created couples to experience as a foretaste of the eternal unity, communion and intimacy we can have with God.
Christ made the ultimate sacrifice to rescue humanity. Writing to the Ephesians, Paul connected Christ’s sacrifice directly to marriage: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25) and “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands” (Ephesians 5:24). In other words, mutual submission to one another requires giving up our own interests to heroically serve the other person.
Every couple will mess up. Too often, however, they also choose to give up. Throughout scripture, God fights for His relationship with His people, remaining faithful in the face of unfaithfulness. He forgives again and again. No couple can avoid strife and arguments, but we can avoid giving the “devil a foothold” in our marriages by keeping short accounts and quickly restoring the relationship regardless of what happens.
Men are called to move beyond passivity by taking initiative when it comes to nurturing a strong marriage. Take advantage of the Going Further ideas below to get started now.
GOING FURTHER – Resources
Available from the CCCH Bookstore
You will learn how the spiritual, emotional and social legacy combine to create a strong or weak heritage. You will also discover practical ideas for giving a strong heritage to the next generation.
Unveils the beauty of God’s design for every marriage.
Discusses a powerful biblical model for each spouse understanding and meeting the other’s most deeply felt need.
Describes how to discover and serve your spouse’s unique love language.
Sex is about the quality of your entire love life, not just the alignment of your bodies.
GOING FURTHER – Church Support
@Home Room Resources
Practical tools for various seasons of marriage are available from the @Home Room or online at athomecalvary.org including…
Marriages That Last
Please check your e-bulletin or call the church office for upcoming Marriage Ministry events. We offer Love & Respect and The Art of Marriage classes at least once per year. You can also email the Marriage Ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.