This quote rocked me when I first heard it. I couldn’t quite grasp what it meant but I felt the weight of its truth. The Holy Spirit often does this when He wants us to dig deeper into a truth. He speaks something to us and it sits with us, sometimes even unsettling us. And these words sat with me until I gave in and opened the gift that Holy Spirit had sent me.
Marriage shows us the shape of the gospel. This part was a little easier for me to grasp. Growing up in the church, I know that Christ calls the church, His bride. When I looked into this a little more, I found out that this is mentioned numerous times in scripture.
Ephesians 5:22-33 gives a beautiful depiction of how marriage shapes the Gospel. Verses 22-27 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as christ is the head of the church, his body, of which is the savior. Now as the church submits to christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
It goes on to talk about the husband and wife becoming one flesh in the covenant of marriage. This is reflection of the trinity, three in one, and also how we become one with Jesus
Isaiah 62:5 says, “as a young man marries a young woman, so will your builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.”
Isaiah 54:5 says, “for your maker is your husband- the Lord almighty is His name- the holy one of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth.”
Hosea 2:16,19-20 says, “in that day.” declares the Lord, “you will call me ‘my husband’; you will no longer call me ‘my master’. “I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord.”
Revelation 21 also talks about the church as the bride beautifully adorned for her husband.
Marriage gives us a glimpse, a taste of what is to come…a completion we long for that will only be fullfilled through God. The Gospel is God making a way for us to be with Him. Sin separated us from God and there was no way we could redeem ourselves before our holy God. But God made a way through Jesus. Jesus’ selfless sacrifice on the cross redeemed us so that we could come into the presence of God and belong to Him in all His goodness. There is a deep intimacy and love that is shared between the trinity; they are so aware of their completeness within each other. Jesus is commissioned into His ministry with the words from His Father, “This is my beloved son who I am well pleased”. This sets the tone for His whole ministry. He goes head on into suffering with those settling words in His heart. He knows who He is. Marriage is a reflection of that intimacy, the intimacy that the gospel brings us into…it’s a reflection of Jesus. When God is at the centre of your marriage, you can’t help but see His reflection in your spouse. And this is just a taste of what is to come!
I think we often forget Jesus led a life of celibacy. Scripture doesn’t say anything about Christ being discontent with a life of singleness. Which leads me to believe that God was enough for Him. That the desires of flesh weren’t anything compared to the fulfillment He found in His heavenly Father. God was enough for him. Jesus’ example proves the sufficiency of the Gospel. God really is enough.
Singleness shows the sufficiency of the gospel because you find God is all you need. You have less distractions when you’re single. There is more of a pull toward the Savior because you have more time to spend with him. To be clear, you can go deep with God whether you are single or married, it’s just a question of whether you will make the time to do so. The more time you take, the deeper He will take you.
As a young single woman, I find myself realizing I’ve been missing the point (which often happens and I thank you, Holy Spirit for your gentle correction). It’s not about getting married or living a life of celibacy as a single person. It’s about being pointed back to Jesus. Which makes me wonder; what if seeing married couples wasn’t a reminder of what I don’t have, but a glimpse of what is to come…regardless of earthly status? What if instead of feeling envious, I looked past my disappointments and behold the treasure and hope He is revealing to me?
The truth is, whether you are married or single, your fulfillment comes from Jesus. Jesus is the one you’ve been waiting for He is your one true love. He is the ultimate sufficiency…the one who completes you. Everything else is a blessing that flows from being rooted in Him.
The goal is Jesus, our hearts long for Jesus, deeper intimacy with Jesus. He is the way.