“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her.” Ephesians 5:25
June is one of the most popular months for weddings, especially this year as people are eager to gather and celebrate the union of a new husband and wife.
I had the joy of being a part of the June wedding statistic: I married my husband two weeks ago on June 6th in a beautiful chapel ceremony surrounded by our dearest loved ones.
As we prepared for the day, we weren’t just preparing for a big party. We were preparing to make a holy covenant before God, to promise to love and serve one another as we love and serve God together.
Marriage between a husband and a wife is one way that the rhythms of our lives can echo God’s perfect design. By taking one another in marriage to become one, we are walking in the footsteps of our Creator, who first created Adam and Eve and declared that the two should become one, and from their union they would love God and shepherd creation together. Now after the entrance of sin and two thousand years after the resurrection of Christ, we join together in marriage and continue to love God and labor together to see His Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven through the call of the Great Commission.
It can be easy to get wrapped up in other views of marriage, such as the idea of true love’s kiss or Prince Charming sweeping a princess off her feet. But for Christians, we see in scripture that God’s intent is for marriage to be our foremost area for discipleship: reflecting the love of Christ to one another and spurring each other on in the faith.
But how can we love like Christ if we don’t know Christ’s love?
Jesus points the disciples to His greatest act of love at the last supper when He says “This is my body, which is being given for you,” foreshadowing His crucifixion.
These words from Luke are the reason why my husband and I chose to take communion as our first act as a married couple, even before the pastor announced those famous words “You may now kiss the bride.” It was a way to remember what true love really is and spend the first moments of our marriage in a position of worship. To Christ is to know God’s love that led our Savior to the cross.
I know that many people have experienced pain in marriage, whether never married, formerly married, or still currently married. That is yet another way that humanity’s heritage of sin will mar what God intended to be for our good.
Thankfully, through Jesus, we can know real love—true love—a love that surpasses any husband and wife here on earth. The church is the bride of Christ, and we already know the perfect, sacrificial love of the bridegroom through His death on Calvary and resurrection three days later. The work is finished, His love has been poured out, and He has given us new identities as co-heirs who are called to be ambassadors for the Kingdom.
Whether married or single, we can know true love in Christ and co-labor with brothers and sisters in the Church to live a lifestyle of prayer, caring for those around us and sharing the Gospel to fulfill our Great Commission calling.
Pray with me.
Lord, You are our savior, our redeemer. We don’t have to wonder if You love us—we know we are loved and made holy by the sacrifice of Your body on the cross. We live our lives in remembrance of Your love, and any love we give to one another here on Earth is our attempt to reflect the love You have poured out to us. Open our eyes and hearts to know and reflect You more, so we as Your followers will be known by our love that is sacrificial and grace-filled, pointing our world back to the true love of the Gospel. In Jesus name, Amen.
Peace and blessings,
National Day of Prayer Task Force