To love and to cherish

Last night I went on a walk and I decided to listen to a sermon by Mark Driscoll, it is the latest in the series about identity that I have been following since my solitude experience. This particular sermon was about our identity of being loved and in it he was speaking about marriage roles. During the sermon he spoke about how he loves officiating weddings and while he does he likes to look at the bride as she comes down the aisle, how she looks at her groom. Then he likes to look at the groom, the look  on his face as he see’s his approaching bride.

I’ve been married to Corrie for approaching 5 years, we wed before I came back to faith in a hotel chapel in Vegas. There was very little tradition in our wedding, we didn’t even dress up. We all wore T-shirts and shorts and baseball caps. But there was one bit of tradition we didn’t break with, her walking down the aisle to me. We have a great picture in our wedding book of the look on my face as she approached. I don’t know how exactly to describe it other than a look of awe and adoration. The kind of look a guy has when he see’s the most beautiful  thing that life has to offer. I felt that way then and I still feel that way about my Corrie. I am blessed to have her in my life and I still get swept away when she smiles at me.

That’s when it hit me

See in scripture time and again the idea of a wedding and marriage is used to illustrate the relationship that Jesus has with the church. Jesus is the groom and we are his bride.

Ephesians 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior 

Ephesians 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

Much is said in Christians circles about our role in this marriage, our submission to Christ and our adoration and enjoyment of him as well as it should be. These are important lessons that we all should learn. But as I was listening to this sermon and reflecting back on the way I looked at my blushing bride as she walked down the aisle to me I realize that far too many words are said about the way in which Christ loves and adores his bride, us. I think that many Christians, myself included, could benefit from a reminder that Christ looks at his church, at you, the same way that I looked at my wife when I was getting married to her, the same way I look at her now. Jesus adores you, he loves you, and he takes great pleasure in you. Not because you’re perfect, because as I’ve said before we aren’t, none of us are. But because we are redeemed in his saving work on the cross. He loves us simply because he desires to love us. He thus invites us into a much more intimate relationship with him, he invites us to desire him in the same way he desires us.

Hosea 2 19 I will betroth you to me forever;
    I will betroth you in[e] righteousness and justice,
    in[f] love and compassion.
20 I will betroth you in[g] faithfulness,
    and you will acknowledge the Lord.

21 “In that day I will respond,”
    declares the Lord
“I will respond to the skies,
    and they will respond to the earth;
22 and the earth will respond to the grain,
    the new wine and the olive oil,
    and they will respond to Jezreel.[h]
23 I will plant her for myself in the land;
    I will show my love to the one I called ‘Not my loved one.[i]
I will say to those called ‘Not my people,[j]’ ‘You are my people’;
    and they will say, ‘You are my God.’”


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