The Mystery of Marriage
There’s no analogy in life
Sufficient for man with his wife
Heavenly vision has contained
That glory lest it be profaned-
Of course though yet, a man may choose
To cast away all Heaven’s views.
Angels weep that desecration
That destroys one flesh relation.
But now- move on to brighter fare,
With eyes on Christ, there’s beauty there,
Meaning to the ceremony,
Union beyond matrimony.
Love first that cried “This good withhold!
If by it love for Christ grows cold!
Deprive my heart that sweet pleasure
If without I’d love God better!”
Then God’s blessing freely given,
Yoked to Christ shall both be driven
Forth in love, sustained and tended
By that hand which saw them wedded.
Joined as one- what is this mystery?
Does one flesh entail property-
As in “mine” to do what pleases
Me? Or like enforcement seizes?
No, not only willing- gladly,
Even bliss to become family,
Knowing beneath them and above
The God who’s called them to this love.
Before Him they tie covenant,
Love exclusive, bind permanent,
Telling something of God’s nature
In the kindness of our Savior.
In love He sets aside His crown,
His life not counted but laid down
Even to death, filled with intent
Gives flesh and blood for sacrament.
On His bride outpours grace lavish,
By His word washes each blemish,
One with Him, will He not cherish
His own body He not nourish?
Has Christ not joined Himself to us?
Adopted, sealed, glorious?
Soon day will dawn for presenting
Us perfected and transcending.
Now the mystery may unfold
Of marriage designed to behold
A picture- though it be so dim-
This union of the church and Him.
Husband, love your wife in this way
As your own, now, and from this day
On, and forever more lead her
‘Till that day when Christ shall greet her.
Wife and bride all white in splendor
To this man your heart surrender,
Know he will not love perfectly
His call is weighty, act gently.
No, not either’s task is easy
Sinners both to live selflessly;
Man will fail and woman fall,
Both shall need grace to cover all.
So then, praise God that He saw fit
To call (not labeling counterfeit)
Us to such honor as to show
Christ and His church while here below.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”