“Mawage, dat bwess-ed awaingement, a dweam wif-in a dweam….wuv, twooo wuuuv, wiw fowow you fo-evahhhh….” If you ever watched the movie The Princess Bride, you have immediately been taken back to the movie about romance, pirates and “true love.”
My daughter just got engaged! In her words – level 2. Funny how the last 2 sentences are 10 words, but there has been so much nervous excitement, planning, secret keeping, praying, laughing, crying, and celebrating that surround the engagement. Not only that…there has been an incredible investment of love, time, communication as two people with different lives, merge onto the same track. There is SO MUCH preparation that goes into planning a wedding and a marriage! Will we be on the same wavelength for finances, children, holidays with family, communication, careers, and endeavors, extracurriculars and friends, free time, and hard times….? How do we avoid growing apart through this? My husband and I have prayed for this man since my daughter was a couple of cells making up what was our child!
Our child is marrying someone else’s child. Marriage is an “institution,” implemented by GOD to join two people together into something much more than each individual. It is a merging of hiSTORIES, presents and futures. According to God, the two become one, in Him. It is a 3-fold cord by which each partner is bound to God and each other for ETERNITY. The 3-fold cord is much stronger than two together in and of themselves, and the cord gets stronger the more the man and woman allow God to be the strongest of the 3 strands.
Marriage is also an incredible representation as laid out by God Himself, of His love for His creation. He likens a groom to Jesus, and His church/followers to His bride. He cherishes His bride – us. He has pursued we humans since He created us, only desiring our affection, and has given of Himself to the point of death in our place. He serves. He loves. He waits for the day we will be completely united. We as His bride wait for the day He will come to receive us. Until then, we are ENGAGED! So, let’s be ENGAGED! Engaged represents interaction on a level greater than the superficial. We are constantly involved and getting to know each other – deeper and sweeter every moment. We are consumed with each other yet retaining who we are and all that He has created us to be. We are better IN the relationship. We are becoming more. We are less concerned with the trivialities of life because we stand with someone so on our side that we are stronger and more capable. We feel immune to negativity because someone believes in us, invests in us, gives themselves for us, loves us purely, wholly, and unconditionally, and we thrive in that.
But to quote John Piper, “human marriage is the copy, not the original.” Just as we as Christ followers strive to be more like Him each day, but fall short on every level, so we strive to have a marriage that represents His pure service and love, but we will fall short. That is when we hang on in the 3-fold cord and let Him be the strongest. He is faithful. We will learn, and grow, and fall; and He will help us up, and we will learn and grow more, and fall again, all the while becoming more like Him in a thriving marriage.
One day, the groom will come for us, and we must be ready. We must dig into the knowledge of each other…our spouse to be – Jesus, the Christ! He loved us and gave Himself up for us. As a good spouse, we need to do the same – give up ourselves for Him! It ain’t easy, but it is soooo rewarding!
Submit to ONE ANOTHER out of REVERENCE FOR CHRIST.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.
Ephesians 5: 21-30