“Live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”Ephesians 4:1-3
Marriage can be our greatest joy or greatest sorrow. But even a peaceful Christian marriage is not intended by God merely for our pleasure and fulfillment. He created the institution so that we might know something about Him and His relationship with us. Christ is the bridegroom, and the church is His bride. So there should be love, intimacy, and passion in our relationship with Him.
Malachi 2 says that it is ultimately the presence of the Spirit that makes marriage unique. “Has not the LORD made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his” (v. 15). In fact, as sinful creatures in a fallen world, we all tend to look after ourselves first and foremost. So any relationship characterized by tenderness, vulnerability, and self-sacrifice must have a portion of the Holy Spirit in it.
When believers and unbelievers alike enjoy happy marriages and friendships, it is by God’s common grace. As Christ’s bride, though, we know the Spirit unites us. We know our own true bridegroom, the One who loved us enough to die rather than live without us.
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus.” (Romans 15:5)