There’s a fascinating passage of Scripture that describes how a relationship ought to work and then tells us what we’ve just read is a reflection of another.
I’m talking about Ephesians 5:15-33. The apostle, Paul, has carefully described how his readers in the church (house-church? perhaps) at Ephesus were to live as children of light even though their city was in the shadow of a temple to Diana (Aphrodite). “Be careful how you walk then, how you live…” he writes in verse 13. He procedes to describe their worship, and then, surprisingly, the dynamics of the relationship between husband and wife.
I can almost see this happening the Sunday morning Paul’s letter is first read in Ephesus; just as one slightly-confused attender turns to his neighbor and begins to whisper “What does this have to do with the church?” Paul’s words step to the mic: This is a profound mystery — but I’m talking about Christ and the church. “Oops-never-mind, I’ll be quiet. you were saying?”
There’s another passage (the first half of Revelation 19) that tells me that while I’m part of the bride of Christ – we’re not yet married.
I remember sitting and listening to Craig Massey (home with the Lord now) describe some of the Hebrew marriage imagery and apply principles to both today’s marriages and to prophecy. It was fascinating to hear and consider! These highlights come to mind today:
- Upon receiving the promise that she would be his, the groom-to-be began to work and save, preparing a place for them while their love for each other grew and deepened.
- When he called for her and took her away to be his bride —frequently with little or no warning— the week-long festivities began.
- One of the groom-to-be’s responsibilities as he prepared was to save enough money so he did not have to work their first year together. The bride, knowing this, would certainly respect and highly regard him for esteeming her so highly.
Admittedly, I’ve never been a bride (profound, isn’t it?) but I AM a romantic and I’ve a good imagination. I think the bride would hang on his every word as she anticipated life with her beloved, want to know what he is thinking, be interested in what he’s doing. When together, she’d never let him out of her sight. Not in a controlling, domineering, way, more in an I-just-want-to-be-with-you, my-eyes-can’t-get-enough-of-your-smile way. I doubt long pauses where neither of them spoke would make her uneasy or restless; it would be enough that they were together. I think she’d study him. Learn what he likes and do those things more. Learn what he dislikes and do those things less, even stop altogether, replacing old habits with new ones she knew would please her husband to be. I know she’d look forward to the time they spent together each week. She’d count the days to their next time together. She would live in a state of constant preparation in the event she looked down the lane and saw him coming – this time to take her to be with him.
If you’ve placed your trust in Jesus Christ, you’re betrothed to the Son of God. You’re engaged. Can you remember those weeks of engagement? (if you’re married that is). Can you recall how life was as a fiance or fiancee? If you’re engaged right now, you have an advantage over the rest of us. (Congratulations, by the way!)
Here’s my little bouquet of prayer-related questions for the day:
What if we lived as promised to Christ Jesus? What if we loved Him as the groom-to-be He is, the one on whose arm we’ll be at the marriage supper of The Lamb? Would we talk with Him every chance we get? Would we read and re-read His letters to us? Would we live in expectant readiness, living in a way that would earn His approval, even before He returns for us? Would we wear His ring with honor? I think so! Do you? I believe love has everything to do with our prayer life, individually and corporately. If we love God we pray. But there’s a subtle difference between loving out of a sense of obligation and being in love.
Christian, wear your diamond well!
Talk with Him. Listen to him. Learn His heart. Forget about time when you’re meeting with Him, savor every moment. Tell Him everything; He wants you to. Ask Him anything; He loves you. Honor Him with your words and your behavior, while He’s away preparing a place for you. Read His letters in solitude and delight in His love for you. Remember, You have a date with Him this weekend, probably Sunday morning. Be ready. Look and feel and be your best – for Him. Cherish your time with Him! He wants things to be perfect between you!