While Colossians 1 doesn’t specifically speak to marriage, I trust you’ll find truths in this passage to be a source of help for husbands and wives who desire to have a healthy marriage.
Colossians 1:15-17 “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
Marriage is from God.
“…all things were created by Him…”
As with all good gifts, marriage comes from God (James 1:17). He made it, which means He knows how it is supposed to work. While that may not be rocket science, it is certainly important. Why? Because we naturally assume we know how marriage works. I mean, we love each other, what more could we need to know?
Husbands need God to continually teach them how to lead their wives through sacrificial love (Ephesians 5:25-33; 1 Peter 3:7). Wives need God to ceaselessly show them how to help their husbands through honoring and following their leadership (Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Peter 3:1-6). Couples need God to teach them how to not be easily offended and how to lovingly work through conflict (Colossians 3:11-15). They need to be reminded of how Christ loved them so they will treat one another as more important than themselves (Philippians 2:1-11).
Heart-centered characteristics like humility, service, gentleness, patience and sacrifice don’t come natural to us. We need God the Father to show us Christ the Son through His Word so that by His Spirit we might be changed and love our spouses as He created us to love them.
This passage calls for us to assume the posture of students in our marriages. From the moment we say “I do” to the moment we must say our final “good bye”, husband and wife should be learning together about God’s design for marriage.
Do you and your spouse humbly approach marriage as learners? Do you study the Scriptures to be instructed, corrected, and encouraged about the way you live as a married couple?
Marriage is from God, so draw near and let Him teach you how to love each other.
Marriage is for God.
“…all things were created…for Him…”
One of our most basic assumptions about marriage is that it exists for us. But our text says something different. Marriage isn’t ultimately for us—it’s for Jesus.
What does that mean? Let’s say you wake up in the morning, and you walk into the kitchen—and there is a sink full of dirty dishes. Again. Let’s also assume you’re the neurotic one who hates dirty dishes in the sink.
If you think marriage is for you or about you, you’ll be tempted to respond with anger. Why? Because your rights, your desires, your preferences are not being honored. But if you can remember that marriage is for Jesus, you find in the sink an opportunity to serve your spouse as Christ served you.
Does that mean you shouldn’t talk to your spouse about the dishes? Not at all. Because marriage is for Jesus, there must be an atmosphere of honesty. But the way you talk about your struggles is informed by the desire of making Jesus supreme. Someone is always going to look big in your marriage, and there is only One who is worthy of that honor.
How would your marriage be different if you knew it wasn’t ultimately about you? Why is that so difficult to embrace? What if every conversation or conflict was colored by the desire to bring pleasure to Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9; Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:1)? How might focusing on pleasing Christ be freeing to your relationship?
Marriage is for Jesus, so humble yourselves and make much of Him.
Marriage is sustained by God.
“…in Him all things hold together.”
The enduring strength of your marriage comes not from yourself or your spouse’s resolve, but it comes from Jesus Himself. It is “in Him” that your marriage holds together. This is wonderful news for weak and frail sinners like us.
When you are weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When you doubt, He gives hope (Romans 15:13).
When you are weary, He gives strength (Isaiah 40:29).
When all around you shakes, He holds you steady (Psalm 75:3).
The all-powerful One who created the universe is the same God who sustains everything in the universe. This includes your marriage. God is willing and able to help you keep your vows that you made to your spouse in His presence. In Him, you hold together.
In your dark days, don’t lose heart, for He is with you (Psalm 23:4).
In your days of ease, don’t grow cold to the One who gave the ease (Deuteronomy 6:11-12).
As Christians, we never graduate from the Gospel. We came to Christ as weak, broken, needy sinners. Marriage doesn’t change that. If anything, it only confirms it.
Do you believe that God is willing and able to hold your marriage together until the end of your life? What might be the greatest test of your faith in this promise? How are you looking to Him for your strength? How can you do this as a couple?
Marriage is held together by the hands of the Almighty God, so lean upon His everlasting arms.
My wife and I host a monthly Honeymooners Group (young marrieds) in our home. This is a summary of the lesson our group discussed for June. Below are a few suggestions we made to help us consider these truths throughout month. You may find them helpful as well.
- Memorize Colossians 1:15-17
- Consider posting a sign that says “Our marriage is from Jesus and for Jesus.” Ask God to help you keep this truth in the forefront of your heart.
- Consider the questions in the above summary together.
- Pray regularly that God would help you to make pleasing Jesus your primary pursuit.
- Keep record of the things that tempt you to make marriage about you. Share these with your spouse. Don’t use this as an opportunity to attack each other, but pray for God to use it to help each other grow in Christ-likness.
- Make sure you take time to pray for each other regularly.