that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, (ESV)
We are continuing to look at the Apostle Paul's instructions on marriage. I cannot emphasize enough the need for us all to stick to God's plan for marriage. My heart breaks as I hear of marriage after marriage falling apart primarily because people do not follow God's plan. The statistics regarding divorce are not much different in couples that belong to the church vs. those who do not. That is tragic.
Today we are going to look at something that is very significant. The husband's role is a spiritual role. Can I state that again? The husband's role is a spiritual role! God wants marriage to be led by a godly man. That is the plan. He is to have as his motivation the sanctification of his wife. What do we mean be sanctification? The setting apart of a person's life for holiness and purity. That is something that is a part of every believer's life, but in a marriage relationship it is a primary goal of the husband to lead in the role of sanctifying his wife, setting her apart to be holy for the Lord.
I want to talk for just a moment to all the young people who may be reading this devotional. You might be thinking, this is just stuff for older people who are married. Young people, this is for you. If God's intention for marriage is that a couple be a godly couple, led by a godly man, then you need to consider very carefully who you are with. People will often ask if it is ok for a Christian to marry a non-Christian. Let me say this clearly. No! Under no circumstance is it ever ok for a couple to marry who are unequally yoked in this way. This goes completely against God's plan. How can a young woman be led to sanctification and holiness by a man who does not love God?
For those who claim to have faith in Christ after they were already married to a non-believer you need to know that God loves you. And you need to remain faithful and demonstrate what a godly spouse looks like. But, if you are not married, you can know for sure that God's plan involves a godly man leading a godly woman in the process of sanctification. If you step outside of God's plan you need to know that you are sinning and you will reap a lot of heartache.
Husbands, are you taking your role of spiritual leadership seriously? Wives, are you striving for purity? Young people, are you looking to God's plan as the only plan for your relationships?