Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Celebrating 30 Years | The Bride & The Bridegroom

Ephesians 5:21-33 

Today my husband and I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We pre-maturely celebrated it in August during our Alaska trip.  I love celebrations...I try to make them last for a long time :)

Well, 30 years ago I did not know the Lord.  We got saved during our 7th year of marriage; on vacation....but you already knew that :)  Marriage is hard work.  There is submission and death. There is washing and cleansing and I'm not talking about laundry. I thank God for all he has taught us during these last 30 years.  I'm thankful for how he has changed us and continues to do so.  He has been Faithful.
Marriage, an institution created by God requires a commitment to love, honor & respect even when you don't want to; even when there are difficulties.  Marriage is a commitment to seek God in the midst of everything life throws at us, hardship, disagreements, disappointments and every tool that Satan has in his belt to try and make God a liar.  The Bible says that what God has joined together, let no man separate (Matthew 19:6)  

Are you shocked?  You mean you thought our marriage was perfect?  Let me write this gently....there is no perfect marriage.

Perfection: entirely without any flaws, defect or shortcomings.  Wow...try and measure up to that!

Perfection as I know it only has come once. His name is Jesus and he promises to come again. The Scriptures are full of his wooing...his calling to us...calling to his unfaithful "bride".

And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;  but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6

Paradise was tainted!  
God who knows all things has been lavishing us with love (1 John 3:1).  He has been calling his bride (you & me) to himself.  We are to submit to the Lord but instead we have eaten of the forbidden fruit.  Submission has evaded us and rebellion has caused us to wrestle with the Bridegroom. Why does he still love us?  He will give himself up for us; he will leave his Father's side and grab hold of the one who avoids and tries to eluded him.  Her shame has griped her even as sin continues to crouch at the door (Genesis 4:7) 

Do what is right.  How can I return?  There is a covering that he offers us, the corner of his garment that can be spread over us but we push it away (Ezekiel 16:8)

The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.” So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will live with you.” Hosea 3:1-3

What an illustrations of God's love for us!  He has washed us, he has cleansed us, he has made us holy. It's the Bridegroom doing everything possible for the reckless bride.  He will allow himself to be humiliated, despised and rejected, just for us.  (Isaiah 53)

He is the Bridegroom, the Lover of our Soul, the Kinsman Redeemer (Ruth 3:9) who has indeed spread the corner of his garment over us.

Marriage created by God, illustrated even in our relationship with God.  We try to run, but he pursues us.  In our unfaithfulness to him, he remains faithful.  In our anger as we hold our fist high and demand the "whys" of life, he extends forgiveness. When life was his to keep; when a thousand angels could have been dispatched to rescue him; when comfort was traded for pain and his Kingly Crown for thorns; He was thinking of his Bride.  When the garment he offered was rejected and his flesh striped like rags; He chose to keep his covenant.  He is the Bridegroom and he is coming for his Bride!

Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
-Revelation 19:7-8

For the challenging marriages, hold on; He is Faithful.
For the newly married, brace yourselves for challenges and anchor to the Truth.
For all of us who serve the Mighty Bridegroom, stay at his feet, he will never leave us or forsake us!
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 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. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her  to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,  and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.  In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body.  “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

God bless you!~Liz www.lizrod.com


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