God’s Design for Marriage │ Ephesians 5:31-33


God’s Design for Marriage │ Ephesians 5:31-33

Pastor Adam Kohlstrom


“A spouse is not a substitute for God…Let marriage be marriage, and let God be God” (John Mark Comer, Loveology). What is the danger in expecting our spouse to do for us what only God can do? How do we know when our expectations are distorted?

“There is not an individual on this planet who could ever meet all of our expectations because we are sinners who have wrong expectations, and because we are married to sinners who let us down… Instead of burdening your spouse with your unreasonable expectations, strive to become a humble servant who cares more about your spouse’s expectations and desires than your own” (Kenneth Reid). How is this advice different from the advice we often hear about marriage today? How is this advice in line with what we read in the Scripture (Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10; 15:2; Matthew 20:28)?

God created men and women equally in His image yet distinct and not interchangeable (Genesis 1:27; 2:18; Deuteronomy 22:5; Romans 1:26-27). What does the creation account (Genesis 2:23-24) – referenced by both Jesus (Matthew 19:4-6) and the Apostle Paul (Ephesians 5:31) – say of God’s design and intention for marriage?

Ephesians 5:21-22. The Apostle Paul writes “wives, submit to your own husbands” but also that Christians are to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” How then must submission be different from being unable, passive, controlled, micromanaged, or disempowered? Why should our “reverence for Christ” cause us to submit to one another?

Ephesians 5:31-33. In speaking of the mystery of marriage revealed in this passage, Pastor John Piper writes, “Again, marriage in its deepest possible meaning, in its most profound glory, is a copy of Christ and his church. Marvel at that. Be in awe. It is wonder that changes people, not examples.” If the purpose of your marriage is to glorify Christ, presenting an illustration of the gospel to the world, in what ways should this practically change the way you choose to relate to you partner? Pray regularly with your spouse that Jesus might help your marriage to reveal to this world the glory of His gospel.


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