I'm back! Thank you for being so patient as we celebrated the wedding of our middle son and his lovely new bride! Just to give you a glimpse into our lives, here is a picture of our sweet children as they committed themselves to one another before a Holy God.
And, since we are on the topic of marriage, let's be reminded what the marriage covenant is all about.
In the beginning, God created....
The Bible tells us in the first several chapters of Genesis all the things He created and when. Each had a purpose, but for those things upon the earth, there was need for a caretaker or overseer. So, God created man (Adam), then woman (Eve) as his helpmate. They were to "be fruitful and increase in number, fill the earth and subdue it." Genesis 1:28
Yet, sin entered the world in Chapter 3, and life in a perfect world ended. From that point on, man would toil and labor for what he would need in life to sustain him, woman would have increased pain in childbirth, and finally, there would be a power struggle between man and woman, husband and wife, which we see play out over and over.
The good news came when God's Son, Jesus, came to this earth and died for our sins. He made a way for those who believe in Him to be sanctified or "cleaned up" and prepared as His bride for all eternity.
Jesus told His disciples while still on earth, "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am." John 14:1-3
Our Savior was going to prepare a place for His bride. In biblical Jewish tradition, it was customary for a prospective groom to go and prepare a place for his soon-to-be bride. He would build a home and furnish it over a period of time determined by his father, but would leave her something to assure his love and commitment to her.
While the prospective groom was preparing the home to receive his bride, she was to be busy preparing for the wedding day by sewing garments and making herself presentable.
So what does this have to do with a modern day wedding and Christ's return for His bride? Everything! Christ is the groom. He has gone to prepare a place for us, His bride. He left with us the Holy Spirit - a gift to ensure His love and commitment, and a guide and help while He was/is away.
We, His bride, are to be preparing ourselves for His return by continually bathing ourselves in His Word and through prayer, and by presenting our bodies to Him as "a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God."
As our son, Cameron and his bride, Caitlin, made final preparations for their wedding, the day finally came when the groom stood ready....the home was secured and complete, and the bride presented herself in all finery and purity. They were joined together before God and man, then celebrated their union with loved ones through food, music and dance.
When our Lord returns, we will be presented to Him as His spotless bride, then celebrate the eternal union at the wedding feast of the lamb! Praise God!!
This, my friends, is why marriage is so important. It is an exact representation of the holy relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.
May we never take it for granted, and may we always hold it with high esteem and honor.