Romans 12:10 “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Our culture declares marriage as a contract that you enter in to receive something. You get married to get something and as soon as you cease to get what you want, or when the marriage gets tough for a season, or if the wind is blowing especially hard this day, you can divorce. It gets tough, you get out.
Christian marriage is not about getting, but about giving. In giving you get. When it gets tough, you give more. It is not a contract, but covenant bound by fidelity, love, loyalty as a matter of life and death.
The call of the Christian life is to die. If you want to find life, Jesus tells us, you must lose it. This is a great truth in the world God has made and is of course made manifest in the Lord Jesus Christ. For Jesus to conquer death and give everlasting life to His church He had to die. But it was not simply a death into the pit. When Jesus gave up the ghost and was placed in the tomb the story did not end there. The death of Christ was glorified in His resurrection from the grave.
In the relationship of the Trinity, Christ’s death was honored, made beautiful, and blessed by the Father and the Holy Spirit in bringing Him back to life in glory and majesty. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit honor one another in devoted love.
In the same way, Christ calls us to die. We are to die to ourselves, to our own priorities, and our selfish desires. We are to put to death the sin in our hearts and He will bless us, God will honor us.
In Romans 12:10 we read, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” It is rather plain is it not? In the context of marriage you as husband and you as a wife are to die so that you might live. You are to put to death the way the world says husbands and wives relate to one another, so that you may live as God calls you. You are to put to death your sins not only for the sake of the glory of Christ, but also for the sake of one another in marriage.
Our culture will tell you marriage is a contract, something you can back out of when things get uncomfortable. God tells us that marriage is a covenant, and when it gets tough, that is when you honor one another and die to yourself all the more.
Love, in this respect, is a killer. Love kills everything that wants to destroy love. And that includes your sin.
And Blair, when Jill puts her selfish desires to death to serve you, your call is to honor her in that miniature death. You are called to make her beautiful as love grows, to honor her and to put her above yourself. In this way you will resurrect her death to self and make her glorious in the sight of the Father.
And Jill, when Blair is dying to himself so that you might live, you are called to honor and respect him, and to make the life he gives on your behalf beautiful. You are to be the beautiful crown that adorns your husband. When we think of Blair, we ought to think of your beauty in the Lord that magnifies his life.
In Christian marriage, the purpose of death to self, is to glorify the one you are dying for, in marriage you are dying for your King Jesus, and your beloved spouse. And this is a picture of Christ and His church. Christ died to make His church glorious. Christ died and rose again to give everlasting life to His Bride. The church, the glorious body of Jesus on earth is the crown of the Husband enthroned in heaven.
The giving of life for the sake of the glorification of another is not a flaw in God’s world, it is a design feature that points the world to salvation in Christ alone. This is the way marriage is supposed to be.
If you two want one another to be made more like Christ, you do not focus on the other one dying, you focus on your own serving. Be obedient to the call of Christ in your covenant of marriage, and let the Lord Jesus transform your spouse. All the while you both must thank the Lord for His grace and His joy.
By doing so, your marriage will be bonded in the strength of faith in the Triune God, and your witness to the world will be made known as your marriage represents the Gospel of Christ to everyone watching.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.