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The most important thing for you to realize is that marriage is a covenant relationship to which God is a party. Marriage is not something you can cast away any time you want.

In marriage, you are in covenant agreement, and God doesn't see you and your mate as two. He sees you as one.

It may be that one partner is weaker than the other. If you are the stronger one, you may have to bear the burdens of the weaker. But if you'll stand in agreement with God, He'll move in behalf of your marriage, and bring you into harmony together.
Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is the head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it.
(Eph. 5:22-25)
From this text, we always want to shout, "Wives, submit." But in the covenant relationship, the husband must be committed to give his life for his wife.

God is saying to the husband, "I'm calling you to give your whole life for your wife, to give everything that you are in behalf of your covenant relationship of marriage." Now, this is why the Lord gave His life:
...that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that He might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.
(Eph. 5:26-27)
The purpose of Jesus' giving His life was so a holy, pure bride might be prepared. Then Paul says:
So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies: he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.
(Eph. 5:28-29)
When your flesh wants to eat, you feed it. When your flesh wants to sleep, you sleep. When your flesh wants to sit down, you rest it for a while. You take care of the flesh. If the flesh gets hurt, you doctor it. Without flesh, you wouldn't be you!

Now, I'm not talking about carnality as flesh, but I'm talking about the flesh and bone that's around your spirit being. There's nothing wrong with the physical body in which you live.

In fact, it can be alive with the life of Jesus Christ. It can actually be infused with God's life. The mortal body can carry you somewhere to preach the Gospel. The flesh can go somewhere and tell someone how to get healed and saved.

The body is going to be resurrected and glorified one day, so we're to take care of it. Jesus is saying, "Take care of your wife in the same way you do your own flesh." When you start thinking about your mate, start thinking about how you would take care of yourself.
For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.
(Eph. 5:30-31)
Just as you are united with Christ, so you are united with your mate. A husband and wife are linked together as one in a covenant relationship. God sees you and your mate as one.

You maintain your separate identity in the same way that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate identifiable persons, yet representing separate ministries. They make up the Trinity, the three in one.

"This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church" (Eph. 5:32).

Paul says in Colossians 1:27 that the mystery of the Gospel is "...Christ in you, the hope of glory." The mystery of the Gospel is that God actually indwells the believer through the person of the Holy Spirit.

We have become one spirit with the Lord (1 Cor. 6:17). We are united with Him. This is why we're called Christ-ians. We're to be little Christs, made in the image and likeness of God.

When you were born again, God took the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit and joined you to Jesus. You were not just forgiven of your sins and all that was against you, but something more took place. When you were saved, you came into a supernatural union with Jesus Christ.

Remember when Saul was struck down on the Damascus Road and Jesus said, "...Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" (Acts 9:4). Saul was persecuting Christians, but Jesus said, "...I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting..." (Acts 9:5).

Jesus took the persecution of the Christians as a personal offense, because any person who is born again has come into a supernatural union with Him.

Just as the born-again believer and Jesus are one, when two born-again believers come together in marriage, a miracle takes place and the two become one flesh.

Source: Building Stronger Marriages by Billy Joe Daugherty.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Billy Joe Daugherty
Web site: Victory Christian Center
Billy Joe Daugherty was founder and pastor of Victory Christian Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was also the founder of Victory Christian School, Victory Bible Institute and Victory World Missions Training Center.

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