5 Ways the Gospel Can Rescue Your Marriage

The good news for marriage is the good news for all of life: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Human marriage can be a beautiful gift. But Paul talks about marriage in the context of Christ’s gift to the church to teach us that the best human marriages are but shadows of the glorious marriage between Christ and believers (Eph. 5:32–33). In the gospel, Christ gives himself as the new life we need. He can satisfy us as no one else can. Believers can say of Jesus, “He is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend” (Song 5:16).

 

Marriage is hard. Even those who marry in the Lord (1 Cor. 7:39) will sometimes struggle to see marriage as that source of happiness they were told it would be. Married people—like single people—need good news to offset the frustration, disappointment, and resentment that can creep into even the closest relationships.

The good news that can actually make a difference will be more than the helpful tips offered by friends or found in the marriage books they might recommend. The good news for marriage is the good news for all of life: the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So how can that simple message—that in Christ God saves sinners—rescue marriage?

1. The gospel prevents us from idolizing marriage.

This is good news for both married and single people. Unmarried people can be so focused on getting married that the quest becomes a little god. Tragically, idols never deliver what they promise. When the desire for marriage becomes idolatrous it ceases to be a God-given help for our weakness and takes on an unsatisfying life of its own. Married people, too, can look to marriage for the kind of satisfaction that can only be found in God.

Human marriage can be a beautiful gift. But Paul talks about marriage in the context of Christ’s gift to the church to teach us that the best human marriages are but shadows of the glorious marriage between Christ and believers (Eph. 5:32–33). In the gospel, Christ gives himself as the new life we need. He can satisfy us as no one else can. Believers can say of Jesus, “He is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, and this is my friend” (Song 5:16).

2. The gospel helps us avoid a demanding spirit within marriage.

Marriage, like all relationships, can be quickly spoiled by a demanding attitude. “I deserve better than this” is one way we express a self-righteousness that will almost surely prevent the cultivation of deep companionship. Through the gospel, we affirm that we are debtors to divine mercy. Though we rightly deserve hell, God has promised us heaven. We have earned wrath, but he has shown us grace. As this gospel truth permeates our lives, our gratitude for God’s gifts changes us from being unrelenting demanders to being thankful recipients. As God’s grace becomes more real to us, we see ourselves as servants—missionaries of God’s mercy—inside and outside of marriage.

Read More