Marriage as a Picture

Vertical Relationship


We liken marriage to a fairytale, so when life swamps us, or when arguments creep up, our picturesque view of marriage can shatter. But what if we see marriage as a way to glorify God and not an avenue toward “happily ever after“? Dr. Deepak Reju distinguishes between the horizontal relationship we have with our spouse and the vertical relationship we maintain with God. He proposes that couples should invest more energy in the vertical aspect of their marriage to glorify God and spread the gospel.

Dr. Deepak Reju serves as an Associate Pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC, where he oversees the biblical counseling and family ministries. He is the author of several books and articles, including Great Kings of the Bible: How Jesus is Greater than Saul, David and Solomon and On Guard: Preventing and Responding to Child Abuse at Church.  



Deepak spoke about his church—a congregation of mostly 20 and 30 year-olds—and what church leadership teaches about marriage. He said most young couples focus on their horizontal relationship with each other. He believes marriage should highlight the vertical relationship a couple has with God, since marriage serves as a picture of Christ and the Church. 

What’s your perception of marriage? Do you tend to think more horizontally or vertically? Why?
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What benefits could come from having a vertical view of marriage? How have you seen God use marriage to proclaim the gospel?
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Deepak talked about how he encourages couples to build their marriage within their local church. Are you married? If so, how has the local church benefitted your marriage? If not, in what ways has community shaped your spiritual growth?
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Deepak closed by saying we should look up to God to see the bigger picture to bring Him glory. How could you seek the bigger picture in your life this week? If you’re married, what steps could you take with your spouse to focus on your vertical relationship with God?
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Every part of our lives should glorify God. This week, set aside time with your spouse to pray for your marriage. Take practical steps toward focusing your marriage on God. Think up ways you and your spouse can show the gospel to other through your actions and words. If you’re not married, pray for a renewed focus on God and come up with ways you can honor Him with your life this week. 


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