In the heart and mind of God the Father, we see ample testimony from scripture that He already had individuals marked out whom he would call and convict to compose the bride, the church. (Ephesians 1:3-11) That bride would be gathered over the centuries by the Holy Spirit, one person at a time, in order to complete what God had ordained for the pleasure of His Son. As Jesus came to this world to die for sinners, He came to pay the price for His church. (Acts 20:28; 1 Timothy 4:10)
Why is marriage and family so huge in the Bible? Because something is communicated about the Person of the Son in relationship to His bride the church. The Christian family's target must be Christ because God designed the family around Him. Christian counselor Jay Adams notes the following three differences that mark Christian marriages and families from other types of families:
1. Christians admit their sins.
2. Christians know what do to about their sins by using the scriptures to deal with them.
3. Christians progress (more and more) out of their sins and (more and more) into righteousness.1
So what is an on target marriage? Our main point of application for answering that question has been: When your marriage is aimed at Jesus Christ, the marriage will have all that it needs to thrive. God has designed marriage to be around Jesus Christ, but notice another reason why the target of the Christian family must be Jesus Christ....
As one wise Sunday School teacher told me one time - the wife is like a rose, whose petals of life require tender loving care, respect and dignity. Each time we say a harsh word or mistreat them, we pluck off a petal. Over time if a man continues to act like an oaf, he will end up with a wife whose petals are gone, and is nothing but a stem full of thorns. 1 Peter 3:7 "You husbands in the same way, live withyour wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered." Men, if you and I are not careful, our very prayer lives can be affected by how we treat our wives! There are undoubtedly warnings to heed. But now see what every husband must do as God's designated man to lead his family like Jesus....
Husbands, you and I ought to be the ones that encourage our families to go to church, reach out in love for Jesus' sake and lead our wives in prayer and children in family devotions. To be "fitting in the Lord" means "whatever alligns to bring glory and honor to Jesus Christ.
1. Jay E. Adams. Christian Living in the Home. Page 12. P & R Publishing.
2. God has so designed marriage around His Son, being that it most completely reflects the Son's relationship with His church, for Whom He came to pay the purchase price. In all reality marriage is but a shadow of the Son's mission to die and raise from the dead for sinners, especially His people. (1 Timothy 4:10). We also noticed too that God has designated men to lead their families like Jesus Christ. We saw what men ought not to do toward their wives. Then we observed from the commands given by both Apostles Peter and Paul that husbands are to love their wives sacrifically, spiritually, unselfishly and sweetly.