I'll never forget my wedding day. I honestly wasn't very nervous or anything. I was more excited, anxious, and ready to move on past the celebratory day. I was pumped to see my bride walk down the aisle. Just before the service I was backstage waiting on the pastor to come and get me, and truthfully, I fell asleep! I'll never forget the way my chest was beating and eyes watering as the back doors opened and I saw the most stunning creation of all creations... the woman I was to call my wife for the rest of my life. I was, and still am, the luckiest man on the planet.
I'll also never forget within the next year, one of our first big fights as a married couple. I wasn't budging on my stance, because, after all, I'm not wrong! And she wasn't budging on her stance either. I can't remember what we were fighting about, I can't remember what set it off, I just remember I said some things I wish I hadn't said. I then remember calling one of my best friends in Oklahoma that night, while my wife was sleeping, and saying these words to him, "Man, this isn't want I signed up for. Is this how it's going to be for the rest of my life? If it is, I can't do this." After an hour or so on the phone, and discussing things I realized something... marriage is blissful, until it's not.
To date I've been married 9 years to the love of my life, and the amazing mother of my children. I couldn't ask for a better HELPmate, as I watch many of my friends walking around with HURTmates attached to their sides. I love my wife more today, than 9 years ago, and that should be the trend in all marriages. Ephesians 5 gives us a glimpse into a Gospel-centered marriage and what it practically looks like in our lives, regardless of how difficult it can be sometimes.
"Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of wife, as Chris is also the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives out to be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her." (Ephesians 5:22-25, NASB)
Don't look at the surface of these words only, and get offended. Rather look at the depth of their meaning. Being submitted to your husband has nothing to do with bowing down to his every request. It has everything to do with the condition of your heart towards him. Just as the church's heart is to be submitted to the ways, the wills, and the desires of Christ - to please Him and Him alone; so a wife's heart should be to her husband. It's not a physical act, rather an emotional, spiritual, mental act of submission of the heart. In other words, it's an act of love!
Husbands, don't look at the verses above as opportunity to reign supreme. Rather look at those words as a challenge to allow our sacrifice to show our love for our wives. Christ loved the church so much He gave His literal life, His wants, desires, purposes, and plans. He gave up all He had to make the church the best the church could be. Such is our mission, our call, our purpose in marriage!
Marriage is beautiful, intimate, meaningful, powerful, and purposeful. Marriage is also difficult, and messy, and hurtful, and frustrating. The key to wedding bliss isn't feeling the emotion of bliss consistently - emotions fade and circumstances change. The key to wedding bliss - is to be so deeply committed to the love and goodness of your Father, God, and to one another that you are submitted to sacrifice whatever it takes in order to see them fulfill their God-given potential! And that takes COURAGE! Go ahead... begin your wedding bliss... RIGHT NOW! You can do this! I know you can!