Sixth, the Gospel reminds us that the ultimate reason that we need to be saved from God’s wrath is because we have placed other realities in our life ahead of Him. In turn, we must continually be smashing the idols in our lives that we place above Christ—including our boyfriend, girlfriend, fiancé, or spouse.
In Romans 3:23 we get a definition of sin: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Basically, sin is the continuing falling short of God’s glory (i.e. God’s goodness and wondrous attributes as it is the majesty, honor, beauty and perfection of who God is).
As John Piper says, “sin is essentially rejection of God and his glory as the supreme value of our lives. Sin considers God and his glory, and instead of loving God’s glory and treasuring God’s glory, sin exchanges God’s glory for something else.” Sin is the exchanging of, and then desecration of, something of infinite value (namely God) to created things that are penultimate and of finite value (i.e. infinitely worthless in comparison to God and His glory. Sin is intensely personal).
Sin is spiritual adultery and idolatry and the Cross continually reminds that, as John Calvin said, “The human heart is an idol factory.” As a result, one must never place another person above Christ in their lives. In a dating relationship, and even in marriage, there must a constant going back to the Cross and casting our idols in front of it, which will almost inevitably be time and time again one’s significant other.
Nevertheless, if one truly desires the best for the other person, they will not place them in the position of God. The other person cannot be one’s all and all in life for the simple reason that God will not reflect His Glory in the couple and each other to the greatest extent possible, they will not receive the highest amount of joy possible. The foundation for the relationship will be the other person’s affections and desires, and not God Himself. What an anemic and flimsy foundation, indeed.
In response, as John Piper has said, if we truly want to love a person, desiring their ultimate best, then we’ll love that person much less then God. God must be our ultimate delight and satisfaction, which in turn should overflow into the other person’s life. One must get their thirst quenched by the living water of Christ, and then pour the love of God into one’s boyfriend or girlfriend life. There is no other way to properly sustain a God-Glorifying relationship.
In response, if one truly desires to cultivate a healthy and Christ-centered relationship that will last until the day they or their spouse dies, then one must be continually focus on the Cross and attempting to plummet its profundity and ramifications for one’s life and relationships. The Gospel must not only be contextualized to cultures and people groups, but to every aspect of one’s life, allowing the Glory of God be magnified and enjoyed for now and into eternity.