“’For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the Church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:31-33
A few years ago I was asked to help as Terri Turner married Daniel LaCoste on a beautiful piece of property near the Gulf Coast in southern Alabama. Friends in attendance remembered the occasion and asked if I might be wiling to officiate another wedding. While rain forced us to move this past weekend’s event indoors, we had a great time as Charleigh and Trevor became husband and wife.
I shared four important ingredients in the relationship between Jesus and His Bride, the Church. These are good reminders:
- Faithfulness — Jesus is faithful to us and He calls us to be faithful to Him. Trust is critical for any relationship. This evening, you both are pledging before God and many witnesses to be totally committed to one another. Never let there be any question regarding your faithfulness.
- Communication — Jesus communicates to His Church. He gives us His written Word, the Bible, and He asks us to constantly listen to Him. He also wants to hear the desires of our hearts as we pray and honestly express our deepest thoughts. Communication must be ‘two-way’ for a marriage to thrive. Be willing to speak and be willing to listen.
- Sacrifice — Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for His Bride and He asks us to be willing to lay down our lives for one another. ‘Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for Her…’ We are all in the habit of thinking mainly of ourselves, but in marriage, we must put the other first. Be willing to sacrifice.
- Love — ‘The greatest of these is love.’ God loved the world so much that He gave His Son to rescue us and invite us into relationship with Him. Jesus teaches us how to love one another. He is love and He lives in the hearts of those who put their faith in Him. Listen to Paul’s description of true love below, and daily put these words into practice. As you do, you will not only build a solid marriage, you will demonstrate God’s goodness to the world.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” I Corinthians 13:4-8