This applies to you whether you have a spouse or not.
Marriage is from God.
Since marriage is from Him, it was intended to be a wonderful blessing. And it will be, if you haven’t missed the key detail.
The following Ephesians marriage passage [divided into two consecutive sections] is very familiar for its love and respect mentions.
And, though we heard it a zillion times in sermons and know its ending, we have largely missed its hidden-in-plain-sight implications.
First, a minor point that might seem unfair of God.
What is missing in this first section that is related to the bold, underlined phrases?
“(21) submit[ting] yourselves to each other in the fear of God. (22) Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord. (23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and He is the Savior of the body. (24) Therefore as the church is subject [same word as above ‘submit’] to Christ, so let the wives be [subject] to their own husbands in everything.” Ephesians 5:21-24
- Church members are to submit to each other.
- Church members are submissive to Christ.
- Wives are to submit to their husbands [mentioned twice].
Are husbands exempted somehow, unlike the wives?
Hold onto to this apparent inequity for a few moments for the the hidden-in-plain-sight portion.
“(25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave Himself for it; (26) that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (27) that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish. (28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. (29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, even as the Lord the church: (30) for we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. (31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. (32) This is a great mystery, but I am really speaking about Christ and the church.” Ephesians 5:25-32
Has the church idolized marriage so much that those who are not married are marginalized somehow as second-class-citizens?
Yes. The reason it’s done this is that the church has missed God’s point.
Is marriage blessed of God?
But, though this Ephesians passage exalts marriage, Paul in this passage is not actually speaking about our human institution of marriage!
It is speaking of you individually and God.
Heavenly bride and Bridegroom.
You and Him.
Whether you ever have an earthly ceremony, you have a heavenly one.
Do you know Him?
You were made for Him.
You were made to be one with Him, to submit to Him.
To submit to Him is not one sided – He continues to serve you. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Your union with God to be loved and to love was planned before the foundation of the world.
“Food is for the stomach, and the stomach for food, but God shall make them both pass away [corruptible flesh is temporal]. Now the body is not for fornication, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.” 1 Corinthians 6:13
Every earthly relationship you possess is a derivative of your heavenly relationship with Him.
If you get to know Him, you will find your ultimate fulfillment in Him.
And, He will also exalt your earthly relationships.