Marriage: An Evangelistic Conversation Starter

A good friend of mine, Jedidiah Coppenger, who happens to be the new basketball coach at Boyce College, and who blogs with some quality brothers at Baptist21, recently posted a reflection on trends in evangelism that he has experienced as a cell phone salesman.  Throughout more than two years of work three things stood out as counter-cultural evangelistic conversation starters: family, work, and marriage.  His thoughts on marriage correspond with many of the things I have reflected on over the last couple months.  Listen to what he says:

First, a biblical view of marriage seems to be a significant place for evangelistic conversations. Sadly, it seems like most Christians look at marriage the same way that they look at the American Post Office. They don’t care how the Post Office orders itself, just as long as it delivers. Likewise, they don’t care how the marriage is ordered, just as long as it lasts. There is something attractive about this approach in light of the divorce-ridden culture in which we live. After all, some say, with as much divorce as there is, do whatever you can! This type of attitude will be well accepted by your lost coworkers and the culture at large.

But cultural accommodation isn’t the goal. After all, you won’t find a Bible verse saying, “Marriage is so hard that you should do whatever works best for you personally. The ordering that works best your marriage may or may not work for another. Just make what you can of it. Good luck.” Instead, you’ll find very clear directions from the Apostle Paul on the most volatile part of marriage, how the couple should relate to one another. The Apostle says that “the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church” (Eph. 5:23) and that wife should submit to her husband as the church does to Christ (Eph. 5:24). So the husband is placed in a position of authority and the wife in a place of support. Both, of course, stand before God as equals (1 Pet. 3:7), but they serve distinctly.

Will this solve all of the marital problems? Of course not. We are all sinners. But with more Christian husbands seeking conformity to the headship displayed by Jesus as he gave his life for the good of his bride on the cross, the role of the husband as leader will look less like a privilege and more like a glorious burden. And if more Christian wives joyfully submit to their husband’s leadership like the church does to her husband, Jesus, then the role of a submissive wife will look less like a prison and more like a place of freedom and joy. Marriages like this won’t make you popular, but they will be used of God to make you holy. And, by God’s grace, as more Christian marriages conform to the Christ-church picture in the midst of a culture that will continue to glorify christ figures (husbands) who forsake their brides, the curiosity of more unbelieving coworkers and neighbors will be awakened. Hopefully, through consciences that know something has been lost, these friends will ask us for the reason for the order in our homes. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to point them to the order in the household of God.

I wholeheartedly agree.   May we who love the gospel order our homes and our marriages in such a way that our lives confront disinterested family members, co-workers, and neighbors with a kind of marriage that does not fit the 21st Western mold.  By ordering our marriages and conducting ourselves according to a heavenly logic, we can better tell the world of the Christ-church mystery that they were created to enjoy.  As Jed asserts, this won’t make us popular, but perhaps for those who have eyes to see it will make the gospel persuasive–which is far more important.  Lets pray and work towards that end!

You can read the rest of his post here.

Sola Deo Gloria, dss