A Biblical Perspective on Marriage by Lysa TerKeurst Ephesians 5:32, "This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the

church." (NIV) A newspaper on the West Coast ran this ad: "Wedding Rings for Annual Lease." I guess this company decided to capitalize on the growing market of those who enter into marriage with an escape clause. Having an escape mentality when it comes to your marriage is a deception straight from the Devil. Satan knows that if he can deceive you into breaking the covenant you made before God to love, honor, respect, and cherish your spouse, he has a foothold to destroy your relationship with God as well. Ephesians 5 describes marriage as the physical representation of a beautiful spiritual truth: Christ is our Bridegroom and the church is His beloved bride. To distort our view of earthly marriage is to shake our relationship with God to its core. Many Christians enter marriage without fully understanding God's design for the heavenly purpose behind the union. Perhaps this is why so many couples in the church today, also wind up in divorce. Wrapped up in this connection between our earthly bridegroom and our heavenly Bridegroom rest three components that can help a marriage last. Take a look at them below: 1. Pursuing an intimate relationship with God. Whether you are single or married, understating that Christ is the only One who can fully meet all our needs is essential for having a healthy, biblical perspective on marriage. At the beginning of my marriage, I was constantly frustrated with my husband's inability to meet my needs. I thought he was the problem until God broke through my self-centered attitude with the truth that He never intended my husband to meet them in the first place. God created us with a void that only He can fill. For me to think that my husband should even try to do this is impossible. As I began to seek Jesus, allowing Him to fill me with His love, I was eventually transformed into the wife my husband needed and deserved. I'm only his bride for a short time on earth, but one day I will be united to my heavenly Bridegroom and He will take my hand in an eternal marriage. 2. Pursuing an intimate relationship with your spouse. Are you one who approaches your prayer time with a list of things you want God to do for you, instead of asking God what you can do to better serve Him? If you are, you aren't alone. However, whether we realize it or not, many of us are living out our marriages in the same self-centered mode. Instead of demanding your own way, ask your husband what he would like to see happen in your relationship. Spend time talking about ways to get to know one another more intimately and be willing to

When you approach the throne of God with a heart that desires to serve. * In what ways can I better help you succeed in life? 3. When I finally saw my sinful self as a dearly loved child of God. I could then see my husband as one as well. He makes you ready to not only be the cherished bride of your husband. and each was accepted by the other until they sinned. 2. As you begin to understand God's perfect and unfailing love. I remember standing at the altar on my wedding day wondering if I could really love my husband as I was promising. can I be a better person? * Talk to me about your aims and goals. Help me to see the spiritual truths in the union that I am a part of so that my marriage may be full and happy. start by asking a few of the following questions about what he wants from your marriage: * How can I be a better friend to you? * How. Also. Application Steps: Here are some ways you can apply the three components of comparing our earthly bridegroom to our heavenly Bridegroom. your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. give me a right view of what biblical marriage is all about.serve him as you would Christ. in your opinion. Help me to cling to You first and foremost so that my fullness in You may pour over into my marriage. take it to Jesus. but the bride of an eternal union (Rev 21:2) When you see your sinful self cleansed and purified by the covering of Jesus' sacrificial blood. Start loving yourself by recognizing that you have stolen God's heart with "one glance of your eyes" (Song of Solomon 4:9). you will begin to see your imperfect significant other with the same love and grace Jesus had for you. How would you revere the house of God? Remember that you. 1. Ask Him alone to fill that void and declare Him to be your perfect Husband. By loving yourself. are . Then they made coverings with fig leaves and we too have been trying to cover our imperfect selves ever since. 3. you will be able to love your husband more fully. too. Adam and Eve felt perfectly comfortable with who they were. If you are deeply wounded because your spouse hasn't met a spiritual or emotional need that you so desperately want met. How was I supposed to love someone else when I didn't even love myself? It wasn't until I understood my identity in Christ that my whole perspective changed. you will begin to delight in His ability to be all that you need. To open the lines of communication between you and your spouse. Pursuing a healthy acceptance of yourself. My Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father.

In what way can you strengthen your relationship with Christ? 2. let him take the free gift of the water of life. 'and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment. In what way can you humble yourself before your husband to serve him? 3. let him come." (NIV) Additional Resources: • • • Capture His Heart. Reflection Points: 1. What changes in your mentality need to be made in order for you to see yourself as a beloved child of God? Power Verses: •Genesis 2:25. just as Christ does the church . "The man and his wife were both naked. through a land not sown. 'Come!' And let him who hears say. how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert." (NIV) •Jeremiah 2:2. by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes . and whoever wishes. by Sharon Jaynes A Woman's Secret to a Balanced Life." (NIV) •Malachi 2:16. "The Spirit and the bride say." (NIV) •Ephesians 5:28-31. by Lysa TerKeurst Becoming the Woman of His Dreams. and they felt no shame. no one ever hated [her] own body.for we are members of his body. but feeds and cares for it.that house.' says the Lord Almighty. After all. 'Come!' Whoever is thirsty." (NIV) •Revelation 22:17. "'I hate divorce. "I remember the devotion of your youth. "[She] who loves [her husband] loves [herself].' says the Lord God of Israel.