Marriage and God’s Sacrificial Love

“This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” —Ephesians 5:32

Of all the pictures God could have chosen to show his love for the world, and of all of the pictures God could have chosen to show how much his church loves him, he chose marriage.

How do we know this? Because God says to husbands, “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself for her” (Eph. 5:25). And he says to wives, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord” (v. 22).

Essentially the Lord is saying:

“Hey, planet Earth, do you want to know how much I love my people? Check out the way that Christian husband loves his wife. That’s what it’s like. And do you want to know how much my church loves me? Look at the way that wife loves her husband. That’s how much my church loves me.”

Our love for God is a response to God’s love for us. The Bible says, “We love him because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).

Despite our sinfulness, wickedness and shortcomings, despite all the horrible things we’ve done, God loves us. And his love wins us over.

In the New Testament story of the prodigal son, the father ran to his wayward child. And by the way, in that culture it was considered undignified for an older man to run. That’s not to mention the fact that it’s harder for an older man to run. (I know this from experience.)

Jesus told this story to show us what God is like. Effectively he was saying that God is like a father who’s willing to lose his dignity, if you will, to get to his wayward sons and daughters and forgive them.

It’s because he loves us. God loves us so much that he left his comfort zone to reach us.

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This article originally appeared on Greg’s blog and is reposted here by permission.

Greg Laurie
Greg Laurie

Greg Laurie is the senior pastor at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside and Irvine, California, and founder of Harvest Crusades, large-scale evangelistic events that are held across the world.