Sunday, October 10, 2010

Day 101: Weddings Make Me Cry

This evenings church service was moved from the sanctuary to Noble Park here in Paducah. While not the normal church service, we did celebrate and learn some things about marriage and the symbolism throughout.

Shelby and Leigh Ann were married this evening, Shelby's father Pastor Michael Durham was the officiant. What a great honor being the person to proclaim their son married. Pastor Durham began the service with a brief history of the marriage customs and how they reflected Christ's imagery He used. The Jewish cultural customs were that after the bridegroom chose his wife he would then go to her father and named a price or ransom for his daughter. After that was agreed upon the bridegroom would return to his fathers house to add on enough room for him and his bride. The addition would take a while and no one knew the return time except the father. Another symbol within the marriage covenant is baptism which was what the bride would do as a cleansing and also the oath/ contract that Jesus portrayed by sharing the cup at the last supper.

No wonder we, the church, are referred to as the Bride of Christ. Before the first humans were ever created, the Son and the Father determined the price for the Son's beloved, they made an oath and we are currently awaiting the Bridegrooms return. He has gone to His Father's mansion to prepare a room for us. How exciting is that? We will one day (soon) be whisked away by Jesus Christ to our new home with the Father.

I have prayed with Shelby as well as offered him some advice, not that I have a lot to offer. I have failed a lot as a husband, but learning what a marriage actually is helped me a lot. Ephesians 5 lays out some really daunting commands for us men. We are to love our wives as Christ love His church. How is that possible? It is not, unless by the grace of God. I take that command seriously and knowing that I am not capable of that type of love I look to Christ for that grace to be able to love like I should. I still fail, but it is more opportunity to seek Him more.

Also, I have realized that God gave me my wife as a token of His love for me. Pastor Durham was key in helping me see that very important aspect of husband and wives. God gave me Chandra as a physical representation of His love for me. While, at this moment, I cannot see God and hug Him out of the love He has graced me with, I do have my wife. When I hug her I am able to feel that love from God. She is my constant reminder of His love for me. He has graced me with someone that I love very dearly and desire to share everything with.

Even if I am not consciously thinking about my wife when making decisions, my decisions are definitely made with her well being in mind too. I do not make rash decisions that will adversely affect her or our household. The decisions are made because I always know she is my wife. This should also be my factor in making decisions with God a part too. My relationship with Him should be natural and I shouldn't have to get the balance out and weigh things out with how it will affect my relationship with God, it should be natural. This can only happen when one realizes that God is the ultimate deciding factor in any decision. We must be so intimately connected in our relationship with God that everything else flows from that. I am by no means perfect and must make corrective adjustments to get back into agreement with Him. But, He is long-suffering for His children and allows us to do things so we can see our need for Him.

I will continue to pray for Shelby and Leigh Ann through the years. I pray that God will use Chandra and me as godly influences to help them along their walk together. They have a lot to figure out on their own, but having a biblical foundation is the key to any marriage and any other venture for that matter. All marriages are mirrors of Christ and the church, even the unconverted. God's design for marriage is perfectly laid out in scripture and I suggest any couple do an in depth study before and/ or during their marriage to be in agreement with the Word. While the best time is before a wedding, it is still never too late to get your marriage in agreement with scripture. My marriage is proof positive of that. God is good and loves His own and will give you all that you need. Start in Ephesians 5 and go from there.

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