These days, Christians love to talk about (and rightfully so) the way that marriage between man and woman is intended to reflect the marriage between Christ and the Church. This is a central motif throughout scripture. What I haven’t heard others discuss is this: if our marriages are intended to reflect our marriage to Christ then the birth of our marriages should somehow reflect the birth of Christ. So, on this Christmas day, here are some ways that the birth of marriage parallels the birth of Christ.
Hebrews 2:14-15 comments on the purpose of the birth of Christ:
“Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.”
The Birth of Christ and Marriage as an Act of Union
Think about how this passage on the birth of Christ parallels the account in Genesis 2 describing the birth of marriage:
- In this passage, God declares that it is not good for man to be alone–he needs a Mediator suitable for salvation. In Genesis 2:18, God declares that it is not good for man to be alone–he needs a helper suitable for marriage.
- In this passage, Jesus takes on flesh and blood so that He might become like us in all things. In Genesis 2:23, God makes Eve take on man’s bone and flesh so that she may become like Adam in all things.
- In this passage, Jesus became flesh that we might become one flesh with Him in the union of salvation. In Genesis 2:24, God reveals that Adam & Eve became flesh that they might become one flesh with each other in the union of marriage.
The Birth of Christ and Marriage as an Act of Warfare
Hebrews 2:14-15 is clear that Christ was born as an act of warfare–He was born for two reasons: to destroy the devil and to deliver us from the bondage of sin. Even in the manger, Christ was a warrior-babe who had come to engage to crush the head of the serpent and beat back the kingdom of darkness.
His birth initiates the decisive blow against Satan’s kingdom. All believers are to join in this battle through kingdom ministry now that we have been delivered from the bondage of slavery.
After some of the most powerful teaching on marriage in Ephesians 5:22-33, Paul immediately follows that with instructions for the family and the home in Ephesians 6:1-4. It is not a coincidence that he quickly follows these insights with his most extended comments on spiritual warfare in Ephesians 6:10-20. Warfare is intimately connected with marriage and the family.
This reality is rooted in the correlation between the purpose of the birth of Christ and the purpose of the birth of marriage. Marriage is intended to build the Kingdom of Christ through intentional ministry and progressive sanctification. The truth is that our marriages are either building the kingdom of darkness or the kingdom of light.
Whenever we embrace the fact that our marriages are an act of war against the devil, it totally changes our approach to union with each other. It frees us up to be willing to make sacrifices for the cause of Christ and craft intentional decision making that is strategic for kingdom advancement. Instead of being at war with each other like most marriages in our culture, we are called to unite forces to be at war for the sake of the gospel.
May the purpose of the birth of Christ renew the commitment you have to the purpose of your marriage on this Christmas day. Merry Christmas!