Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Marriage and the Gospel

I've been thinking a lot about marriage lately (gee, what a shock!) In my life, the prospect of marriage has certainly brought feelings of both excitement and fear. Why? Why does it have so much power, so much weight, so much mystery even for us who seemingly get to make all our own choices about marriage? Nobody forces us into it, we're allowed to make our own time frame for the most part, we can choose our spouse, etc. etc. Society even "allows" a divorce if things don't work out! But we still treat it like a big deal whether we like to admit that or not....and everybody cries when the bride walks down the aisle! Why is marriage such a big deal?

Look at that face of anticipation! But seriously, my pastor told me that my bouquet was shaking when I got to the altar! Even though I was so sure about the one I was walking to, I was definitely nervous. Why?

I think it's because marriage is about something more. I think maybe God created it from the beginning to reflect a greater reality- the reality of His love for us. "In the beginning..." God made man, it wasn't good for man to be alone, He created woman, and voila! "Therefore man shall leave his father and mother, cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh." Genesis 2:24

But I don't think God just realized Adam was a little lonely and decided to make woman so he'd have someone to hang out with, scratch his back, and watch movies with on Friday nights. I think maybe it "wasn't good for man to be alone" because man can't truly understand the love of God without getting to practice it and experience it in the context of another.

In Ephesians, Paul says "husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that he might make her holy...that He might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing...husbands should love their wives as their own bodies...this mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church."

Ok, so...what? When Michael said "I do" what he was saying is "I am giving all of myself to you. I pledge to be faithful to you no matter what. If you get sick, if you are unfaithful to me, if you go absolutely crazy and start seeing monkeys everywhere (but seriously :) if you "fall out of love" with me and stop giving back the way I hope you will, it doesn't matter. I'm not going anywhere. I will always come for you." This is why, even if we're OK with divorce theoretically, nobody wants it. Because we are made to long for a love that is unconditional- and that's because there IS a love that is unconditional!

And that is the message of Christ to His church- to the people He pledged to love. To an unfaithful, unloving, crazy, bride who does not love Him back the way He loves her...He has promised to be true. To give of Himself, to remain loving, to be faithful, to make us holy and "present us in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that we might be holy and without blemish."

That is why I cry when I see a bride walk down the aisle, clothed in white, face beaming- because it reminds me of Christ and the fact that He has done the same for all who say yes to Him. He has pledged Himself to us forever, and even more! Remember my post about Jesus wanting the rose? He wanted us when we were dirty, trampled on, and stained- and He has washed us whiter than snow- clothed us in His righteousness so that we too can be presented to Him as blameless and pure...He turned us from harlot to bride. All by His power, because of His goodness, and in His love.


Aixamarie said...

This was a beautiful post. I look forward to reading more of your blogging.

ugrey said...

You mean it"s crazy to see Monkeys everywhere???

hyung's blog said...

well said