For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:30-32
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Did you know that your biggest witness to the world is not what you do for the poor? Your biggest witness is not how much you know about the Bible. Your biggest witness is not going to church, praying for people, and helping people. These are wonderful witnesses but they are not your biggest witness. Your biggest witness is your marriage. Your marriage, as long as it is operated in the manner God designed, is a witness to God in a world of rocky and failing marriages.

In Ephesians 5, we see Paul giving a somewhat lengthy discourse on marriage. In verse 31 we see him return to Genesis 2:24 and then state,
"this is a great mystery, BUT I speak concerning Messiah and the church."

With this "great mystery" there is a bunch going on that we've looked at in this website.

From the time of Abraham, there was a marriage covenant with the church that is a
Great Mystery. We've heard about Messiah being the Groom and the church is the bride, but we miss the details throughout Scripture and of how far back this imagery began. While we see this imagery back to the covenant with Abraham, Paul's reference back to Genesis 2 says it started long before Abraham.

Pointing back to the creation of man and the joining of man and woman in "marriage" Paul then makes the statement about the great mystery. Paul is telling us that marriage is so much more than what we've been seeing most of our lives.

Unfortunately, when we have a picture of marriage we have a very man centered image. The fact is, from Genesis 2 to today, the purpose of marriage is not man centered, it's God centered.

We may joke about the issues men have in being alone, but when YHWH says, "It's not good for man to be alone" He decides to make him a "
Helpmate." This "helpmate" would work with man through positive resistance, but there's more to the problem of man being alone.

The poem found in Genesis 1 tells us of a story of God creating man in His image. It was not man alone, as we learn in this poem, but rather man and woman together that makes up the image of God.

As we learn in the study linked, we see the image of God is actually God's character and not that He has two arms, two legs, two eyes, etc. It's also not eluding to a "
three part being." It's a metaphor that is pointing to the character of God. This is why all of Scripture is instruction to returning to this character in the way we live.

If man created in the image of God is to portray His character, it's not good that man is alone. If man is alone, how can man show love, mercy, compassion, long-suffering, self-control, etc.? It's impossible. Therefore,
God must create for man a help through resistance.

The purpose of man and woman was to portray the image of God through their union. Paul is showing us that marriage of man and woman is to portray the image of Messiah and the church.

From the beginning of time, the union of man and woman was to portray God. It's not about man, it's about God. To view marriage in a man centered focus is a very prideful way of our view of the universe. It's as if God does everything for us but the Bible does not say that. God's focus is on His character, on His name. That does not leave us out though.

The best marriages in the world are those who portray God's character and the image of Christ and the church. By being selfless in the way we view marriage, in being humble in our creation, in putting the focus of our marriage on the image of God, we create a marriage that is more rock solid than ANY marriage in the world through all of history.

How does this look in our every day lives?

To say it's easy would be a lie but to say it get's easier would not be, as long as the couple is in agreement that they will pursue that which God designed from the beginning.

This practice cannot operate differently inside the home as it does outside. In fact, as judgment starts inside the church first, we need to make sure judgment of our image of God starts inside the home.

In communication with your spouse, wives, how do you see the communication between the church to Messiah? How should the church act towards Messiah? Should they try to take control? Should the church cut Him off and not talk to Him because they didn't like a decision? Should the church be short with Messiah because they had a bad day? How should the church act towards Y'shua.

Likewise, husbands, how should Messiah treat the church? Should He hold His thumb on them like a dictator? Should He talk to the church abusively and even treat the church in an abusive manner just because He has more power? How should Y'shua treat His church?

This is what Paul is stating in this great mystery. God created two forms of mankind with two different ways of viewing the world so that they could portray His character to the universe. Because we fail to see this fact, and because we see marriage as something within ourselves and very man centered, we don't even work at the original design of marriage. God created marriage for Himself; and we benefit from this design in the most perfect union between a man and woman that any worldly people will ever see. Through marriage, the world should see that our God is a good God, a loving God, a God of mercy and long-suffering.

How are we doing in this image?

The reason this practice should start within the home is because what happens within the home flows out. We may have a Facebook looking marriage to those around us outside the home for a while but eventually the truth shines through.

I was told a story of a small group of church people who got together to start a church gathering that would be on a regular basis. During the first meeting they separated into mens and women's sections and talked about marriage. After the meeting was over, talking to her husband on the way home, revealed how the women talked so negatively about their husbands. This is NOT God's design. No one in the group had any idea of the friction, the lack of God's character, that was happening inside the home but suddenly this truth was revealed.

So, inside the home, start to think about what the image should look like. What is God's character in the situation you're in? What should the response be to Messiah from the church? How should Y'shua treat His bride? If you are married and both parties are on board to work in their marriage in the way God intended, this should be on the forefront of your mind as it is the biggest witness to the world. When your marriage is going great, when it's obvious the love you have for each other, when people see how you respond to each other in times of struggle and during times that two different views are seen, when everything about your marriage is revealed to be practically perfect when most everyone else is struggling, your best response is that God loves us and He showed us how we are to treat each other in the same way He treats us and that makes all the difference in the world. Nothing preaches louder than this because a sinner can help the poor and help a person in need but the marriage is the revealing factor of God's image.