The Mystery of Marriage
As discussed, God gave mankind marriage so that Adam would be one as God is one. While the creation of Eve from the flesh of Adam made them the same species it was marriage (order) that made them one as God is one. Eve was never created to be a dissident part of the same humanity, she was created to be united to him in flesh, love and marriage.

After the fall God did not abolish marriage, rather he cursed it, telling Eve that her desire would be to rule over her husband and that he would always dominate her (by force). Therefore their marriage became the root of all conflict and disunity in the human race rather than the basis for God-like unity and the template for all human families. Now that Christ has re-established human unity in the image of God he has restored the integrity of marriage for all Christians. Human unity would not be “human” without marriage, as determined by God in the beginning. By submitting to Christ in the order of marriage Christians will reflect their union in Christ in and out of marriage.

To summarise:
• Marriage is the relational mechanism of human unity God established in Genesis 1-2, this has not changed. To submit to the order of marriage means to submit to Christ and God in unity.
• Adam and Eve’s marriage just like the marriage of Christ and the Church is the unification of the entire human race (Eve then the Church) to it’s head (Adam then Christ).
• Just as Eve was never created to operate as a separate/dissident part of humanity to Adam, so too the Church has not been reborn to operate apart from Christ. The two parts must be united for there to be true human unity.
• Unity is only broken in death, because marriage is a key part of unity it is broken in death.
• The marriage between Christ and his Church will be perfect and unbroken. Unlike the marriage between Adam and Eve.
• Christian marriage in the present age looks forward, expecting the fulfillment of their union in Christ.

The Bible reveals that the final consummated union of Christ (on the last day and beyond) is the basis for understanding the conduct of Christians in marriage (union) now.

Your future commands your present
In the same way that Christ is head of this new human union so too each man is the head of his family union (for their benefit). Just as Christ was given his role over the Church by God (and the church under him) so too wives and husbands are given specific roles (by God) within their union. As it says:

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 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. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.
(Ephesians 5:25-30 ESV)

While husbands have been given headship over his wife (family) this headship is for her (their) good, not to be used for his own selfish purposes. is required to imitate Christ and be savior to his wife giving his life for her benefit. Husbands are to love their wives so much that he withholds nothing good from her for the purpose of preserving unity in Christ (for both of them). Her salvation is his responsibility (as much as it is in his power).

In light of the requirements placed on the husband as head of the marriage the wife is required to submit to them. Just as we who are members of Christ submit to him as our rightful head women are to submit to their husbands. This is not the reluctant submission of the oppressed to an oppressor (marriage in Adam), it is the willing and loving submission of a loving wife to her husband who lovingly gives her every good thing she needs withholding nothing of himself. Therefore just as the union of Christ is carefully built up by God, each part with its own place seeking the benefit of every other part in love, so it is with marriage.

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
(Ephesians 5:22-24 ESV)

While in the present age it is important to look back to the original union of Adam and Eve to understand the continuity of the profound importance of marriage in the union of species, we ultimately look to Christ because we are made new in him and our marriage to him will last and remain untainted (unlike Adam and Eve’s marriage). All Christians must understand central importance of marriage to the Christian faith.

“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
(Ephesians 5:31-33 ESV)

Unity is for all
Unity in Christ not only commands the actions of married Christians but the actions of all Christians. Unity is the the only ethic of the Bible (more on this later).


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