Finding Christ Relevant to Every Area of Life

Marriages that Minister: A Portrait of Christ and His Bride

Marriages that Minister by J. Kirk and Melanie D. Lewis
Download Marriages that Minister ebook

Marriages that Minister: A Portrait of Christ and His Bride

Marriages that Minister: A Portrait of Christ and His Bride invites you to find Christ relevant to your marriage. The old adage states, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” God designed marriage to be a portrait of Christ and His relationship with His bride, the church. When the watching world views the picture of your marriage, what are the words that it conveys?

Marriages that Minister will challenge you to think differently about your marriage. We are not talking about what can be accomplished by human effort. It is an invitation for you to participate in what is humanly impossible yet divinely possible. We will explore the relationship that Christ has with His bride and therefore how we should be relating to Him, not how a man can make a woman feel good or how a wife can make her husband happy. We are offering you transformation through an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ that will completely change the composition of your wedding portrait so that it becomes a picture of Christ and His bride.

God uses marriage to perfect us in His image.

God uses marriage as a means to perfect us into His image. A marriage that incorporates the godly surrendered soul of a husband and the holy yielded spirit of a wife with the unsurpassable blessings of an unfailing God braids in triunity, forming a bond that withstands the fiery darts of the wicked one. When a marriage matures in finding Christ relevant, it becomes a dramatic depiction of a masterpiece marriage that ministers.

Do we really need another marriage book?

Another marriage book? You may think, “I know all this stuff!” “I’ve heard all this before.” The story of the original marriage certainly is well known. But how has it impacted your marriage? Sure, you may have repeatedly heard Ephesians 5:31–32, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church” (ESV). But what difference do these verses make in your everyday coexistence with your spouse?

Why did you get married?

The apostle Paul speaks of the profound mystery of marriage and certainly many people wonder why they got married. Why did you get married? Of the many surveys we have conducted with this question, few responded that they got married in order to reveal God’s mystery of marriage to the watching world. But what does that even mean? So how in the world are we supposed to do that? 

Our society has been lulled into complacency, and unfortunately the Christian community has followed suit. A committed relationship with Christ is not the automatic result of saying a sinner’s prayer any more than a committed marriage is the automatic outcome of a wedding ceremony. Too often when we strive to make our marriages better, we only seek ways to make life more comfortable for ourselves instead of attempting to understand God’s design for marriage.

Marriage does not make you complete.

With the proclamation of “I do” comes the blissful belief that we are now complete with everything we need to cope with the sundry doubts and insecurities of life. Culturally we have been indoctrinated to believe that the saving grace of marriage is its ability to deliver us from the prospect of not being lovable, from the pain of insignificance, and from the plight of insecurity. What great disappointment arises when we learn that marriage has really blended and magnified our combined issues resulting in much larger issues.

Find Christ relevant to your marriage!

Our first work entitled Desperate Dependency: Finding Christ Relevant to Every Area of Life laid the foundation for us to build Marriages that Minister. As we challenge readers to find Christ relevant in every area of life through Desperate Dependency, we now challenge you to find Christ relevant in every area of marriage.

Marriages that Minister also explores the concept of Christian identity.

Embedded within the content of Marriages that Minister you will also find the concept of the iProcess. “Say what?” My identity in Christ defines the perimeters of my identity as a husband or a wife within the context of marriage. Identity is God’s perspective of me. Intimacy embraces God’s perspective of me, thereby drawing me into spiritual connections. On the basis of my intimate identity, industry compels me to action. Once I am convinced of my identity, I can be connected in intimacy and be compelled to industry to accomplish His good pleasure. This is what we call the iProcess.

The concepts incorporated within the iProcess apply to all believers, not just married couples.

Who is Marriages that Minister written for?

In case you are wondering, Marriages that Minister is specifically written with the target audience of Christian leaders in mind. The unique challenges of ministry place a great strain on leadership marriages. Therefore, Marriages that Minister offers reminders of biblical truth to strengthen weary marriages. However, weary or not, Marriages that Minister is also written for discerning Christians who desire to grow deeper in their marriage. Additionally, the majority of Christian marriage counseling is conducted by Christian leaders. Consequently, we designed Marriages that Minister as a resource to be used in marriage counseling.  

What others are saying about Marriages that Minister.

The “Marriages that Minister” study was very eye-opening for me. It explores in a much deeper way how the relationship of Christ and His Church is mirrored in the relationship between a husband and his wife. Passages on marriage that I had always looked at in very shallow, obvious ways were revealed to have much more meaning and depth when they were opened up and examined in light of God’s goodness, His perfect design, and His great love for us. It caused me to look at how Jesus loves, encourages, and relates to His bride, and how He wants me to apply those same principles in my relationship with mine.


Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Not being married, I came in wondering exactly how this was all going to fit into my life. God spoke to me about applying this to every relationship, not just for marriages. My personal union with Christ is the most important thing. Intimacy with others will come out of this.


Truly understanding God’s design for marriage to be a portrait of Christ and His bride the church, whose divine mission is to reveal heavenly truths and bring Him good pleasure changed my heart. Actually, I am “broken-hearted” and grieving that my marriage was so far from this purpose and design for so many years. The essence of not understanding that brings turmoil and destructiveness into our marriage.

“Hope” was imprinted on my heart. Knowing that through an intimate relationship with Christ, we can be empowered to minister to each other gives me hope that our marriage can be healthy again. This strength will move us toward the goal of fulfilling this portrait.This series has provided me with a great understanding of the institution of marriage through God’s eyes. His plan, purpose, and design are so clear now. It is my desire to fulfill His plan and renew my covenant with Christ and my spouse.


“Marriages that Minister” has been used to strengthen my relationship with Christ and bring the intimacy to a much deeper level. I have a better understanding of election and how that relates to my choosing of my husband. I love my husband and through this study understand that I am to love him in the way I am biblically called to as his wife; loving, respecting, and empowering him towards godliness as my walk with Christ deepens.

I found the matrix on encouragement to be the most misunderstood by the world but have so much appreciation for the truth of it. Just as unity with Christ is expressed by singing praises to Him when my husband and I are connected on a deep level emotionally, and spiritually, we are led to an intimate level of praise physically. This in turn is praising Christ for the marriage that He has blessed us with. Expressing our gratitude and thankfulness sexually enters my husband and me into a deeper level of unity. I believe this is the most challenging topic to minister to others. Our world has corrupted the sacredness of sex. Sex isn’t designed as a duty or as a way of creating unity without understanding our identity, intimacy, and industry with Christ. Christ designed sex as a way of expressing the intensity of our spiritual love given to us by God.

One of my favorite phrases said was how spouses are not designed to need one another but can be the icing on our life. I think that is a wonderful thought. My husband is placed in my life to walk with me, as God guides us. He is a precious gift but not something that my life depends on. In the situation that my husband and I faced, I had to learn that I could not depend on him for happiness or joy. I was to only look to Christ for all my needs. There was such freedom in releasing our marriage to Christ. My marriage was His and it was not my job to change my husband but to be his helpmate. I was giving my husband a place in my heart that was only intended for Christ.I am so thankful for the opportunity to be under such wise counsel. My husband and I make an effort daily to grow our marriage using the picture of Christ’s relationship with the church. God has been so faithful, and God has helped us to endure the trials we have faced in our marriage. We believe that God wants greater things for marriages than what we are seeing in marriages today. My growth through this study has been amazing and my prayer is that I can use what I have learned to be a testimony of God’s mercy, grace, and love in our lives and marriage.


I have grown so very much throughout this class. We believed that our marriage, even though rocky at times, had grown and was becoming stronger. I am thankful that Christ intervened and made us aware of how we needed to proceed in order to be properly restored through Him. We were still trying to do things on our own without Christ. Even in this class, there have been times we have had ups and downs. I would contribute that to mostly the both of us being resistant to release control and allow God to transform us and our marriage into His image.

Each lesson taught me something I didn’t previously know and had not been taught. My husband and I both come from divorced families and had no clear examples of husband and wife in a marriage ordained by God. I have gained so much knowledge in learning my role as a godly wife and am grateful that Christ has given me practical instructions through His word which has been so clearly explained in this class. To know what is expected of me as a godly wife and to completely understand what that means when given in scripture has opened my eyes to something I have never experienced.

With this new knowledge, I realized that I had been insecure and had placed my husband in the God-place by seeking security, validation, affirmation, significance, identity, and love in him and not Christ. These were things that kept me in bondage to dependence on him, self-seeking gratification, and being self-absorbed because I was looking for completion in things, not Christ. All the while portraying that things in my family were “perfect,” seeking to please the world and what “it” says the standard should be. We both have agreed that allowing our marriage to reflect the things we have learned will minister to others. Most people will say they want what they once had, but we have decided that we want better than we had—to be new in Christ.


When we were invited to attend “Marriages that Minister” I was just thinking to myself, finally, I get to tell on my wife, and everyone will see how I had been treated and see her for what she really was—a front. What I didn’t plan on was God revealing what kind of a person I really was (not loving, cold, mean, selfish, prideful, etc.) and how He was going to change my life.

I have learned so much from this godly wonderful group and how Kirk and Melanie presented God’s plan for having a godly marriage. I had no idea about how to be a godly person, husband, leader, father, or family man. Learning how God’s design for marriage started with Adam and Eve and how our marriage is outlined to mirror Jesus’ love for the church was a GREAT MYSTERY to me, but now I understand the concept and embrace it. Our marriage was struggling tremendously, and we were on the verge of a divorce, but we didn’t even realize this until this group revealed how far from God our lives were. Jesus’ love for me and forgiveness of my sins has strengthened my relationship with Him, thus empowering me to dwell with my wife with understanding. Christ’s relationship with the church which exemplifies the husband’s relationship with his wife was now my quest to learn, obey, and achieve. Having a true relationship with Jesus and allowing Him to reform my life meant I had to die to self and give up my free will. I have made up my mind to die to self and to allow God to change every aspect of my life.


What did you learn from Marriages that Minister that you think others really need to know?

The contrast between marriage as the Lord has intended it and what “we have made it.” And yet by grace and empowerment through Christ, we may attain a glimpse of God’s holy purpose for our relationship and live beyond “happiness” or mutual satisfaction.


I think what people really need to know is that the goal for marriage isn’t to make each other happy but to point each other to Christ. I think this goes against everything society tells us. Changing this view of marriage could really make a difference in people’s relationships.


First, the ultimate goal of marriage is to accomplish His good pleasure. It shows the world a portrait of Christ and His church. Marriage is not about getting what we desire. Second, teaching the iProcess is important. People have to see themselves (identity) as God sees them—they are loved by God. Too many people look for their worth in their spouse. Third, the kind of love a husband is to have for his wife is the least characteristic of what a man is. That love God designs for a husband to give is also the least way a woman desires to be loved.


How is Marriages that Minister different from other marriage materials you know?

The focus is Christ and Christ alone – which proves wildly sufficient – and yet the depth and the facets of that truth are astounding to consider.


not just on how to BE better. Focusing on the heart issue I think is different from other marriage material. You didn’t just address the symptoms and give band-aids to cover those. You spoke to the heart of the issues.


“Marriages that Minister” focuses on Christ and what He can do through the couple. It teaches that marriages are not for self but to glorify God. It makes you look at your marriage in a totally different way than the world (and even “Christian” world) does. It teaches you have to be right with Christ before you can be right with your spouse.


Choose to grow deeper

DDCommunity Institute offers a variety of classes to promote your spiritual maturity.

DDCommunity Institute: Marriages that Minister Class 203

Marriages that Minister Class 203 will challenge you to think differently about your marriage. Marriages that Minister gives you the opportunity to participate in what is humanly impossible yet divinely possible––a marriage that displays the portrait of Christ and His relationship with His bride.

Marriages that Minister Class Cohort 303 will challenge marriages to display a portrait of Christ and His bride, as clarified in live cohort sessions. With added insights from cohort members, a new depth of application is possible.

DDCommunity Institute: Marriages that Minister Class Cohort 303
DDCommunity Institute: Marriages that Minister Counselor Cohort 403

Marriages that Minister Counselor Cohort 403 will develop Biblical Church Counselors through live cohort mentoring sessions to help marriages display a portrait of Christ and His bride.

Marriages that Minister

Table of Contents

Below you will find the Table of Contents for Marriages that Minister: A Portrait of Christ and His Bride. Click the links to connect to some of the content we have posted on our blog.

1. Essence: Designed by Christ

2. Essentials: Because of Christ

3. Election: Chosen by Christ

4. Exemplification: Love like Christ

5. Exaltation: Set Apart for Christ

6. Evaluation: Standing before Christ

7. Endurance: Faithful to Christ

8. Enablement: Power through Christ

9. Edification: Strengthened in Christ

10. Enlightenment: Showing Forth Christ

11. Encouragement: Praising Christ

12. Eternity: Anticipating Christ

13. Expectations: Be like Christ

Please help us!

The internet changed the way people make decisions. Now we decide based on what others write in reviews. Please help others choose Marriages that Minister based on your reviews.

  • Write a review of Marriages that Minister on Amazon.
  • Leave a review of Marriages that Minister on Google Books.
  • Scribe a review of Marriages that Minister on Goodreads.
  • Compose a review of Marriages that Minister on our publishers’ website.
  • Leave a review of Marriages that Minister on Apple Books.
  • Create a review of Marriages that Minister at your favorite book retailer’s site or multiple sites!
  • Or send an email to and we may add your story to our Testimonies.

Thank you!

Marriages that Minister by J. Kirk and Melanie D. Lewis

Excerpts from Marriages that Minister by J. Kirk & Melanie D. Lewis. Available from your favorite book retailers, including Amazon and Redemption Press. (As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.)

Would you like a more in-depth study of Marriages that Minister? Enroll now in our Teachable Marriages that Minister class.

Read more about Marriages that Minister: A Portrait of Christ and His Bride.

Thank you for supporting DDCommunity!