There are a variety of ways to learn. In many cases the best way to learn is by imitation. We do this almost from birth, and we continue to imitate others throughout life, sometimes without even realizing it.
But here’s my challenge to you: who is your role model? I suppose we all select some role models intentionally, while following others almost blindly. Some areas of life are, of course, more important than others. But what about the important areas?
What is the most important human relationship in your life? If you’re married, I’m guessing you’ll agree with me that marriage is the most foundational and impactful human relationship. That was the very first human relationship God created, and He designed it to help form the very fabric of family and society.
So where did you learn how to do marriage?
There could be many answers, of course, and some would give us excellent models. But there’s one answer that supersedes all the others. Peter wrote in his first epistle that Jesus left us an example, so that we would follow in His steps (1 Peter 2:21). This certainly includes marriage.
Perhaps you’re thinking, “How can that be? Jesus was never married!” That’s true. But marriage wasn’t invented out of thin air, or out of some wild fantasy in God’s mind that was irrelevant to anything else. It was modeled after the relationships already in existence before the creation — those between the Persons of the Trinity — and qualities to be reflected later in Jesus’ relationship to His redeemed people, the Church. Therefore, we can see in Christ a model for both the husband and the wife.
This is the subject of our latest article, “Christ: The Model for Marriage“. In this article, Paul Shirk explains how the Person of Jesus Christ provides a perfect model for both sides of the marriage relationship.
It should be our goal as Christians to become more Christlike in every way. After all, “Everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:40, NKJV). And while perfection in its fullest sense may not be realized until we are glorified with Him, a healthy love for Him will draw us to know and reflect His perfections. As the Apostle of love wrote, “Whoever says he abides in him [Jesus] ought to walk in the same way in which he walked” (1 John 2:6, ESV).