I was blessed to attend the wedding of this sweet newlywed couple, my niece and nephew, Caitlyn and Jace. Theirs was one of the loveliest ceremonies that I have ever attended! The family support was evident, the pastor’s sermon was phenomenal, and the love between these two was palpable. With their commitment to Christ front and center, we really did see two become one, just as it should be, and I am grateful to have been there.
‘Praise the Lord! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure’— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God.’
Marriage is symbolic of our life in Christ. John the Baptist called Him “the Bridegroom” (John 3:22-30) and in Revelation 19 we hear that He is “Faithful and True” (Revelation 19:11). We are told to cleave to Christ, as a bride to a groom, forsaking all others for Him (Luke 14:25-33). In coming together with Jesus, we are one in the Spirit (1 Cor 6:17). And in the light of eternity, the Second Coming of Jesus is portrayed as a great marriage feast, where He returns to consummate His relationship with His Bride, the Church (Rev 19:6-10).
Jesus is not just a king; he is a betrothed King—an engaged King. And soon he will be a married King. His betrothed bride is the people of God—the people who trust him, elect from every race and nation, the church. He came the first time 2,000 years ago to die for his bride—to pay a dowry, as it were, with his own blood. And he will come a second time to marry her and take us—his church—into the gardens and the chambers of his love and joy forever.
Meeting Jesus in Marriage
God gave marriage as a sign to point to relationship with Christ (Eph 5:22-32). But earthly marriages? Some give an amazing witness to the faithfulness of God and the love of Christ. But many don’t reflect accurately the relationship we are to have with Christ. Marriage can be a reminder of the brokenness of this world. Like trying to peer into a cracked mirror, relationships here on earth can distort the view of Jesus. When we look for Jesus in marriage, sometimes He is hard to see.
What does it mean when your marriage isn’t the perfect picture of relationship with Christ? How can we meet Jesus in the middle of a mess?
It’s easy to get discouraged when conflict with another person brings out the worst in you or when they let you down. But the Lord is so amazing — in every circumstance, He is always at work. So, we can see Him reflected in wonderful marriages, but if we look closely, we can see Him reflected in difficult marriages, too. Here’s how:
- Difficult relationships humble us, which makes us more like Jesus, who was humble (Phil 2:1-11).
- Sometimes those closest to us can try our patience, and in doing so they provide excellent opportunity for growth (James 1:1-4).
- Feeling at our wits end over a spouse? This reminds us to rely on the strength of Christ, rather than our own (Phil 4:13).
The Lord is always at work, redeeming and refining. If times are hard, it can also be hard to see Jesus working, but He is. Some people meet Jesus in their singleness. And others fulfill God’s plan by meeting Jesus in marriage.
The truth is that all of our relationships are a gift from the Lord, even the tough ones (James 1:17). And God does not hand out one-size-fits-all gifts — He gives us exactly what we need, so we can be grateful to the Father for every gift/person (spouse, child, sibling, parent, friend, co-worker) that He brings into our lives (1 Thess 5:18).
As a footnote, thank you to Caitlyn and Jace for sharing their pictures with us. It was wonderful to be in attendance at the wedding of this young couple. The love and joy that Jace expressed toward Caitlyn reminded me of the way that Jesus loves and enjoys us.
I’m sharing this post at Kristin’s Three Word Wednesday: