As I write this post, my sister is set to get married in 5 days. I’m really looking forward to the wedding for numerous reasons. The first reason is that I’m really happy for my sister. I’m thrilled that she has found a Christian man who loves her and whom she loves. I am excited about how God is going to use their marriage to accomplish His purposes. I am also excited because I haven’t had a chance to return home since I moved to Texas. It will be nice to be able to catch up with friends and family that I haven’t interacted with very much since I moved. It will be a time full of excitement and celebration.
I’m in a season of life where it feels like a lot of people in are getting married. The last few months, my refrigerator has been plastered with various wedding invitations and save the dates. Whenever I receive a new one, I can’t help but reflect back on my own wedding day. That was one of the best days of my life. To be surrounded by family and friends as I committed to live the rest of my life with the person that I love most in the world; it was an experience that I will never forget.
Some people question why marriage exists in the first place. Marriage exists because God created it. Genesis 2 reveals to us that God is the author of marriage. Marriage calls its participants into a perpetual act of self-sacrificial love for their spouse. In his book, Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas theorizes that the purpose of marriage isn’t to make us happy but instead it is to make us more holy. The purpose of marriage is not for self-gratification or to complete ourselves as individuals. Instead, marriage will quickly reveal our flaws to us and it creates the space for God to work in our lives. It teaches us to love self-sacrificially like Jesus did. In our marriages, we have the ability to show our spouses grace when they fall short, which they inevitably will. We have the opportunity to treat our spouses with the same unconditional love that God has for them.
I would be remiss if, as I look forward to my sister’s wedding, I missed a chance to look even further forward to the greatest marriage of all – the marriage of Jesus Christ and His church. It is this coming marriage that we try to reflect when we ourselves get married.
I recently read an article on Desiring God, written by Greg Morse, in which he sums up what happens on the day of a wedding from the perspective of a husband. “The beggar plays the role of his King. The creature plays Creator. The sinner mimics perfection. The servant performs on behalf of his God — all before His smiling eyes. My lines, my actions, my part must be this: Christ’s ferocious love for His people.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. (Ephesians 5:25)
I am called to channel my Master’s love. I must love like Him who exchanged heaven’s riches for earthly poverty; angels’ praises for human scorn; the throne of heaven for a stable’s manger; divine glory for rusty nails; His Father’s smile for omnipotent wrath. Each open wound sang a sonnet to his bride.
I must act out the romance of one who married a peasant to make her a queen, suffered hell to make her pure, opened His veins to welcome her into paradise. Tell me to multiply loaves of bread or walk on the raging seas before this — those seem more attainable.
I am not her Savior. I have crossed oceans for her; He crossed galaxies. I will sign a covenant with her in ink; He signed his in blood. I would die for her; He has died for her. I desire to love her perfectly; He has done so and always will.”
Our marriages now are only but a small taste of what is to come. Our love for each other is but crumbs compared to the banquet meal of Jesus’ love for us. May we celebrate the moments where we experience heaven on earth through our relationships today and may we continue to long for the day that Jesus returns as our perfect lover.