The orthodox and Christian expectation is that the Christian faith will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea. Indeed we are explicitly told in the OT text that is the most commonly cited text by NT authors that;
The Lord said to our Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.”
All of history is the fleshing out then of the enemies of Christ being conquered by a vibrant Christianity and so being made footstools of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So our expectation and indeed our certainty as adherents of the Christian faith and disciples of Jesus is that because Christ now has dominion Christ shall have dominion.
But now the question arises as to how that happens and the answer to that question is a long answer, all of which we will not be touching now. However, there is one aspect of that answer … one slice of that we want to examine briefly right now and that slice is standing before us dressed in a beautiful white dress and in a natty tux.
This dominion of Christ that is sure to cover the globe begins with husbands loving wives and wives obeying their husbands. The dominion of Christ, before it sweeps across nations, before it animates our social institutions in a Christian direction, before it defeats all contesting ideologies, it shows its first expression in marriage and family.
Dr. Bavinck reminds us that;
“The history of the human race did not begin atomistically, with a group of isolated individuals, but organically, with a marriage and a family.”
So, marriage and family are the seedbed of civilization and where that seedbed is fouled there civilizations die. So, if we desire to see the inevitable present triumph of Christ continue to come to pass we have need to tend to our marriages and to our families.
Tending to our marriage and families means concretely that husbands become so selfless that they die to self in order to provide, protect, prosper and train their wives and children in their undoubted catholic Christian faith, thinking, and living. This is why husbands are instructed to love their wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
Tending to our marriage and families means, concretely, that wives becomes so selfless that they delight in wearying themselves out creating homes that husbands and children keep looking forward to returning to. This reality is pointed to in Titus 2 when the Holy Spirit encourages the Older Women to
urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.
In some ways it sounds so simple Josh and Becca. However, both experience and the evidence around us suggest that it is far from simple. At least that is the conclusion that we must come to if we lift our eyes and look upon the carnage that litters the landscape of our modern culture in terms of marriage and family. You need to take that carnage seriously because the enemy desires to make of your marriage what he has made and is making of so many shipwrecked marriages. Scripture teaches that the devil is a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour and you can be sure as anchored in Christ the devil seeks to devour you and your marriage. Don’t let it happen.
Don’t let God’s glory be diminished in the sight of men because you didn’t cherish your marriage. Don’t split your future children in two because you couldn’t figure out how to be one. Don’t become another statistic that testifies to the success of the enemy.
One way to push back against the enemy is to realize that your Marriage i not primarily about you individually or considered as a couple. The chief end of your marriage is to glorify God by enjoying him in the context of marriage. The secondary end of your marriage is to benefit your people and your church community via the social stability that comes through a healthy marriage, via the knitting of families together, and via the children we pray will follow. Because of that reality the celebration here today is not primarily a celebration of you as bride and groom but rather it is primarily a celebration of the union that God in Christ is creating here.
We here witnessing your vows have great hope for your marriage in successfully portraying Christ and the Church as husband and wife. We here witnessing have great hope that your marriage will be a tool that God uses to evangelize those damaged and bruised by sin, who seeing the beauty of your marriage and family will say to themselves… “Whatever it is that accounts for the beauty, stability, and harmony of that marriage, I want.” We here witnessing your marriage have great hope that your Christian faith, which is more precious than gold, will be passed on to your children.
And now for just a moment I lift my voice to speak more directly to you in attendance. It is altogether possible that there are those here who are in marriages that are a strain to your health and are a raking of your soul. My heart breaks for you. There has been nothing more burdensome in the ministry than seeing marriages crack, split, and finally sunder. To you I can only offer Jesus Christ. To those beat up from marriages gone bad Jesus says “Come unto me you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Apart from the gospel of Jesus Christ I can offer you no hope. Christ alone can forgive and then heal the selfishness and self-centeredness that often accounts for the failure of the institution of marriage — an institution — which was designed to be the place where one is supposed to find in life the most delight, the most security, and the most love. To those of you truly wronged in marriages and perhaps embittered with life, only Jesus Christ can return to you your joy. If you will cast all your care upon Him you can be certain that you find in Him your only comfort in heartache and sorrow.
Now, let us end where we began. Let us end, Josh and Becca speaking as to how your marriage is going to contribute to the dominion that is characteristic of Biblical Christianity. Let us note again how all this that you are entering into today is much larger, and much grander than what you could possibly imagine. With the crafting and building of your marriage, as consistent with Scripture, you are rescuing civilization and help to rebuild the culture once known as Christendom. You will be passing on to the next generation what you have received from your faithful parents and that is the manful and womanly work of incarnating your Christian faith into hearth and home. And because God is faithful he will use your marriage and numerous other Christ centered marriages to be a neo-sign pronouncing His faithfulness to His people. By such means God purposes to cover the world with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the earth.
May God bless you and keep you on this grand adventure and may He always remind you of how big all of this is. God is going to use your marriage to help in the work in making His enemies His footstool.