How to: Sum Up the Marital Mystery

Ephesians 5:32-33; This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife [see] that she reverence [her] husband.

A Holy Sacrament (Symbol)

Ephesians 5:32 is a beautiful verse and holds a figure of speech. I’ve talked about them enough that you might be wondering how I know this. I looked it up in a book called “Figures of Speech Used in the Bible,” by E.W. Bullinger. You can also find references to these figures in his “Companion Bible”. Bullinger found 217 of the 225 figures of speech in the English language used in the Bible. To quote him, “All language is governed by law; but, in order to increase the power of a word, or the force of an expression, these laws are designedly departed from, and words and sentences are thrown into and used in, new forms, or figures.”

Few writers since the middle ages have given figures of speech the attention they deserve. And even fewer have noted their importance in the Bible. This is why it is misunderstood by so many. I highly recommend this comprehensive guide for your research library.

Now back to this verse. The “mystery” is the figure here. It is the figure called a “Symbol”. Mystery in the Greek is word “mysteerion” (or symbol) in Latin is “Sacramentum,” it is only used once in the New Testament as the “great mystery.” The context is so delightful because it’s referring a connection and comparison to the physical and relational union of a husband and wife to Christ and the church.

This is all great and wonderful but let’s be real for a minute…


Bertha asks: Terri, I don’t get it. Is our marriage really that big of a deal? Bucky, my husband, falls asleep eating Cheetos on the sofa every night, watching football, then goes to his construction job every morning, without acknowledgement I’m here. We have nothing but 2 kids, a TV, and mortgage in common and you’re telling me this “matrimony” is referred to in the Bible as an ancient symbol! Some kind of wonderous comparison to the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for the body of believers?!! You’re kidding me right?

Terri: Um…right. 🙂

Bertha: Ugh!

Terri: God has an ideal will for our lives. Jesus Christ sacrificed himself a long time ago for what? Simply put; so we could mess up and still be God’s kids. So that we could have Christ, “the anointing” like Jesus had, inside us and communicate directly with the Father. Tell me this Bertha, how much are you asking God, by way of that direct access, what to do, say, and act-like, to bless your husband? Is God “in” on your daily decisions? Are you letting Him help you make the best of the situation? Are you obedient to every detail of that guidance?

Bertha: Wow, I didn’t think of that. I don’t ever ask God how to bless my husband.

Terri: Well, then that’s a start on the road to wonderous, ancient symbol of God’s, ultimate, divine love in your life. Good!! You are responsible for your head space and yours alone. Make sure you are walking the walk in every way possible. Before you know it your husband will wonder what’s going on and you’ll get to share with him (on God’s guidance) what is happening.


Isn’t it wonderful how simple and practical God made this? All this fancy English talk gets us no where if we don’t put it into our daily lives. It becomes just head-knowledge that launches itself into prideful jibber-jabber. Frankly, I don’t care how many books are in your Biblical research library, the bottom line is; Are you walking out on the truth? Are you seeing results? Do you know how it works? Do you realize the tool God gave you when you were born-again? If you only know one verse and walk out on the truth of it, you’ll be a changed person! The definition of the renewed mind is; put the Word of God in mind and act accordingly.

The definition of a renewed marriage is; Put the Word of God in mind and act accordingly towards each other.

There is your respect, love, affection, purity, romance and godliness all wrapped up in one.

God Bless!


Tomorrow, get ready to launch into raising your kids because Ephesians is leading the way.

4 thoughts on “How to: Sum Up the Marital Mystery”

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