Easter week has me thinking about Christ and the quality of His love for us. He came down from heaven and humbled Himself as a human. He did not demand to be worshipped, but rather gave Himself up to death, in order to give us life.
This is the kind of love that we are called to. Christ talks about how His bride is the church, meaning Christians. In this beautiful illustration, we see Ephesians 5:25 played out... “For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her...”
The illustration of marriage between Christ and the church is a very serious thing, just as real marriage is. By saying yes as a bride, we also say no to all others. There is an exclusivity that makes the relationship even stronger. Jesus gave up His life in love for us. He is our healer, our hope, our love, our strength, our peace... the Almighty. Sometimes we forget about the exclusivity Christ calls us to. When asked what the greatest commandment is, Jesus replied. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.” When asked what the second greatest comments is, Jesus replied, “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
It is so interesting because God does not just ask us to “love Him” as if it is something we can muster up. God asks us to be in relationship with Him, and get to know Him. In relationship with Him we see the holiness of who He is, and the depth His love for us. We see our sin, and the grace that is so much greater. This compels us to love Christ more than we could’ve imagined.
As I am preparing to be a bride, I have two takeaways I am thinking about...
Takeaway #1: not to lose sight of Christ being #1 in my heart
When I am in a healthy relationship with God, loving Matt is oh so easy. Why? Because I am pouring into him the love that God poured into me (see previous post on “The Fountain”). I have grace to give, because I have received so much grace. I have peace to stand on, because God has given me a foundation that is not dependent on the things of this world. God asks us to love Him first for our own well-being. It is in our best interests, and makes me the healthiest “me” I can be. God is also described in the Bible as jealous, and deserves the best place in our heart. I want to always put God first in my own heart, in our marriage, and I want Matt to be putting God first in his heart. It is so important to me that Matt loves God more than he loves me. It is also so important to me that I put Christ before Matt. That could sound strange that I want my husband to love God more that me, but becoming more like Christ, is becoming more humble, gentle, and kind. This will take sacrifice, huility, respect, grace, love, and so much more, but it will be oh so worth it.
Takeaway #2: live in the humble nature of Christ
I am not very good at saying I am sorry... Matt is incredible at it. He automatically humbles himself and asks for forgiveness. It’s AMAZING because it diffuses any argument or disagreement... In the scriptures we see that Jesus was very humble. Instead of demanding love, respect, and honor, He washed the smelly feet of His disciples. Instead of calling heaven’s armies to destroy the earth, He humbled Himself to the mockery, pain, and death of a criminal. I want humility in my marriage. I want to grow in humility before God, and before Matt. As I am preparing, I will be preparing my heart in this way.
Some verses I’m loving:
- Micah 6:8 “He has shown you, O man what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly, love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecuti8ons, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
- Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition of vein conceit. Rather in humility value yourselves above yourselves, not looking to your wo interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
Here’s a pic following the shock when someone said for the fist time, “turn to your FIANCÉ”. That word sounded so strange and sweet. Judging by the photo you can see we’re pretty excited about it ;)