By Not Known
Weddings are great occasions of love and there isn’t anything quite like witnessing two lives coming together in the sight of God, family, and friends as they become husband and wife. More importantly, it characterizes the eternal relationship that exists between Christ and his church. Last Saturday, I had the honor and privilege of preaching at a dear brother’s wedding. While preparing the wedding exhortation, I was reminded of three key pointers of relationship building that we (the church) can learn from a Christian marriage.
(1) It takes a lifetime of learning and ‘be’-ing.
Life together comes with a mix bag of personality conflicts and disagreements in almost everything. No couple gets it right at the start, but takes a lifetime of trial and error. Likewise, the church has her struggle of ups and downs with her groom.
Matthew 22:36-40 commands us to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength; yet often we have a clash of will with our Lord and most certainly disagreements with him on exactly who is in control of the relationship. We place selfish demands on exactly how we want this union to be heading. We play the role of the willful and arrogant spouse to the dot. Unlike a marriage, it doesn’t take years before the less-than-ideal-characteristics of our nature are known to Jesus, yet, he loved the church and gave himself up for her (Eph 5:25); perfect love so perfectly displayed on the cross, experienced and known by his people. When we have been pursued by such a selfless love, how then can we still be stuck in a selfish and prideful manner of ‘be’-ing church? We need to humble ourselves and look at our Christ!
(2) It really isn’t about the approval ratings.
We have been surrounded by culture that places fulfillment and contentment in things that we can secure for ourselves, it is very self-centered. But a marriage isn’t about being fulfilled through what we do for each other nor do we live for the approval of what we do. A marriage lived in this way is tiring, bothersome and unloving. Marriage blossoms only when spouses put in the hard work because of the certainty that they are first loved by the other.
The Bible reminds us that our fulfillment and contentment has already been realised by Jesus. Php 2:13 gave us this insight that God works his work in youâ€•which is the work already accomplished by Christ. We have everything we need! So the question we must answer daily as we do church isâ€•are we working hard in order to live up to Christ’s perfection? Or do we work hard because of the perfect thing which he had already done for us?
(3) It is really about a bigger story.
Just as Christian couples need to understand that marriage isn’t just about their own love story in their own tiny bubble, but about playing their part in God’s love story. We must understand that too. We are part of God’s love story for the world. It does not stop with us, but must be shared to as many people.
Let us remember these three relationship pointers as we continue to draw close to our God, working hard and joyously for him.