If you are in Christ, then you are a new creature and your perspective and vision to everything is new, including your vision of marriage (2 Corinthians 5:17). Sadly, we may have been taught about traditional marriage, but not the biblical vision of marriage that is part of our character as a new creation in Christ.
People in the world tend to have seemingly appealing goals for marriage—goals such as intimacy, being served in illness or old age, children, and others. All these goals are self-serving goals, coming out of selfishness. In Christ, there is only one surpassing goal, “Marriage is for the Glory of God.”
Ultimately, everything that exists here in life, including marriage, is intended to be for the glory of our God, the Heavenly Father. “For all things were created by Him, and all things exist through Him and for Him. To God be the glory forever! Amen” (Romans 11:36). Those sons and daughters, including the couple to be wed, who are called by the name of God, have been created, and formed for the glory of God (Isaiah 43:6-7). God is great and greatly to be praised (Psalms 145:3).
Marriage, in good times and bad, is intended to show God’s glory. Its aim is His glory, not ours. The real disciple of Christ, grows to love God more and to love his own life less (Luke 14:26-28). He who loves anyone more than God, does not deserve God (Matthew 10:37-39). Thus, in Christ, the focus in marriage is not serving the self and fulfilling one’s own selfish needs, but serving the Lord with his whole house (Joshua 24:15).
In biblical symbolism, to show the glory of God in a marriage, colors are chosen to symbolize the marriage bed. One might think that, in the old biblical times, “green” was the best color of the marriage bed. That is why it is said, “Our bed is green” (Song of Songs 1:16). In fact, “green” in the Bible is often a symbol of death (Psalms 37:2, Revelation 6:8). This may sound shocking.
Christ lived His life on earth to bring glory to God. He said to His Father to God, “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:4). All His good deeds and righteousness have been to bring glory to His Father. He came to do the will of His Father, not His own will (John 6:38). On His time of love and intimacy, the Father chose for Him the green bed, the cross, to be perfect and bring many to share the glory of God (Hebrews 2:10). On the cross, Christ “loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
The green bed, that brings glory to God, is to love your wife as Christ loved the church and died for here, sacrificial and unconditional love. “Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her. Husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:25-28). You are married to die for the wife you choose that you can be perfect and bring others to share the glory to God.
On the other end of the green bed is the wife. Through her husband, she is showered with the sacrificial and the unconditional love of Christ when she submits to her husband as to the Lord. “Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything” (Ephesians 5:22-24).
On this green bed, every spouse offers love to the other unconditionally and without any strings attached. The commitment to the Lord God in the sacrament of marriage necessitates that every spouse unconditionally loves following the example of our Lord Jesus Christ who loved us in an unconditional way. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
What About Marriage’ Challenges?
For St Paul, the mystery of Christ and the church is a great mystery (Ephesians 5:32). Children of God are married to live out this mystery to bring glory to God. It might sound against the human logic but it is coded in Christ’s teachings, “He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matthew 10:39). In all your life, including you marriage, the choice is yours to find or lose your life, but on Christ’s terms.
For those who are in Christ, challenges and difficulties in marriage are for them not against them. “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). You are married to be refined with fire and transformed into the image of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:17-18). The disciple of Christ must carry his own cross and follow Him (Luke 14:27). Only the narrow gate leads to life. “Go in through the narrow gate, because the gate to hell is wide and the road that leads to it is easy, and there are many who travel it. But the gate to life is narrow and the way that leads to it is hard, and there are few people who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14, GNT).