It’s been a few days, but I cannot free my mind from the picture of marriage. I was given the privilege of taking part in the union of Justin and Allie Gillebo last Friday, and there are multiple things that stuck with me from this night (besides the pre-show Call of Duty, the Starbucks lattes, and the awesome toasts at the reception).
The morning of the wedding, I was trying to prepare by saturating myself with imagery and knowledge of marriage, diving into John Piper’s This Momentary Marriage. From merely the beginning of the book, I took away two huge points that began to expand my view of the union of husband and wife: first, that it is the doing and display of God; and second, that its basis is entirely on grace.
Mark 10:6-9 says “whatever therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” Also, Ephesians 5:31-32, referring to husbands and wives, states that “this mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.” Both of these have enormous implications, but the summation of both of them led me to the conclusions that God is in fact the creator of marriage, and it is also one of the ways he displays himself to the world.
Secondly, the union of marriage is one founded entirely on God’s covenant-love, or grace. Without grace, God would have no union with or sustainment of his bride, the church, because the Bible says in Romans that “there is none righteous, no, not one” and we are only seen as righteous through the sacrifice and substitution of Jesus on our behalf to take the wrath of God we deserved. And so, in marriage, husbands and wives are given the unique and incredible opportunity (and responsibility) to forgive. Colossians 3:13 commands us, “as the the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” It isn’t because we obeyed that God pursues us, it’s actually in spite of our disobedience.
These truths alone allowed me a new, deeper desire for this “mystery” of marriage that points to God and his redemptive work in the world. They stirred in me a longing for what this is, because a life lived reconciled to a woman as one is a great metaphor to the work our God has done with us by grace. Also, the opportunity to take part in the wedding of friends was an amazing honor that I did not deserve. To be so closely attached to Justin and Allie throughout the planning, praying, rehearsal, and marriage itself was a real blessing that ultimately pointed me to Christ and deepened my understanding and appreciation of him.
Praise be to God for this beautiful image of himself, and the joy he extends to us through it!
[For more full biblical sections on marriage, click here]