There is transformational power in the reality that Jesus is our Bridegroom and we are his bride.
You’ve probably heard it said that the marriage relationship reflects the relationship that Christ has with the church. Words to that effect may even have been spoken at your wedding.
That is often where we leave it: a nice idea, a trite metaphor, or an interesting point of comparison.
What if I were to tell you that our bridal identity is actually a vastly rich and beautiful expression of God’s heart for your marriage?
What if I were to tell you that pressing into this Bridal Paradigm, as I and others refer to it, has the power to radically transform your marriage?
There is Power in Your Paradigm
I’ve finally finished revamping and updating my website’s Start Here and About pages (one reason I haven’t been posting recently). In the process of polishing my What I Believe About Marriage pages, my heart has been struck anew by the transformational power of the Bridal Paradigm (Click to read my overview of The Bridal Paradigm.)
What is your marriage paradigm? I would venture to say that many people aren’t totally sure what they believe about marriage, much less what they believe about their own marriage. What’s its purpose? What’s your belief system? What are the guiding principles you live and love by?
These are actually very important questions! They are important because what you believe about your marriage will ultimately lead to how you behave in your marriage. As I often say, “Right thinking leads to right doing.” It’s a powerful principle.
What I Believe
I don’t see marriage beliefs as a salvation issue. Whatever your beliefs about marriage, all who receive Jesus as savior are going to heaven. Yes, egalitarians and complimentarians both can be saved. Even people who selfishly believe that marriage is basically about their own happiness are still going to live eternally, as long as they find salvation in Jesus.
With that said, your marriage beliefs are hugely important and will significantly impact the success of your marriage.
Over time I have developed some pretty strongly held opinions about how I see God’s design for marriage, but I don’t think you need to believe the same way I do. I read a lot about marriage, some of it by those with whom I disagree fervently. I welcome dissenting opinions here on my blog as well, providing we all maintain an attitude of honor and mutual respect.
So what do I actually believe?
Much of what I believe about marriage is based on the Bridal Paradigm, which is most clearly stated here:
For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
I’ve been studying this “profound mystery” that the Apostle Paul is referring to for many years, yet I only feel like I’ve scratched the surface. It’s as vast and unknowable as is the very love of Christ that Paul describes a few chapter earlier. My journey in the Bridal Paradigm, and yours if you choose to pursue it, is a lifelong pursuit.
But rather than trying in vain to summarize my marriage beliefs in a single post, I’ll point you to the pages I’ve just completed for more details. I encourage you to read what I believe about marriage and use the opportunity to pinpoint what it is you believe.
- Marriage Belongs to God
- What to Do With the Gap
- The Bridal Paradigm
- An Ordered Partnership
- For Husbands Only: Lead with Love
- For Wives Only: Love, Respect and Submission
- What is a Surrendered Marriage?
Although comments are not available on the “About” pages, I’d love for you to leave comments or questions here on this post or send me a message.
If you and your spouse have never had a conversation about your marriage beliefs, or if its been a long time since you have, take some time in the next week to talk it over together. It matters. A lot.