Every wedding I have ever been to, I have cried. The moment the bride walks down the aisle gets me misty, but the real moment the tears flow is during the vows. I mean, think about it, making promises for life, that is serious. During my wedding ceremony the officiant pointed out that my husband and I were not entering into a contract that can be broken, but a covenant that is unbreakable. It is enough to make me more than a little teary.
A few days before I stood as matron of honor to my best friend, Amy, as she was married, I looked back through my wedding photos. I smiled as I reflected on the day and how startlingly handsome my groom was. I believe I even made the comment, "I want to have another wedding." The groom would be the same, but I so enjoyed all the things that made our day special that I wanted to relive it again.
As I listened to the pastor during Amy's nuptials, I couldn't help but think about heaven. I knew there would be rejoicing for their union, but I was more focused on my wedding day. The day I would be dressed all in white and I would be walking towards the groom that is preparing a place for me. The excitement of seeing your groom as you walk down the aisle to commit your life to him is inexplicable. So how can I contain the even more overwhelming feeling of being the bride that has Jesus as her groom.
I committed my life to him a few days shy of 21 years ago and while every moment has not been filled with anticipation of seeing him face to face, it has been the most worthwhile relationship I have ever had. Just as in earthly marriage, our relationship with Jesus has to be nurtured, there must be constant communication and sacrifice. Sometimes you have to go against your own wishes in order to submit to what is best for the relationship.
I think that is what Paul was talking about in Ephesians 5. Marriage is not only love and respect, submitting and leading, just as your relationship with Christ is not limited to those things. When I am pleased with my husband, I let him know and I brag about him to others. When I have been blessed by Jesus, I let him know and I brag about Him to others. Communication is crucial for my relationship with my husband as well as with Christ. When I have wronged my husband I ask forgiveness just as I do when I have sinned against God. When the comparison is made between the relationship between husband and wife and the relationship with Christ and the Church, it encompasses a whole lot more than hierarchy and roles. What I need from my husband is also what I get from Christ. What my husband needs from me, I must also give to Christ.
"And we will fly away in the twinkling of an eye
Leaving all our heartaches and telling them all goodbye
Yes we will fly away when He hears His Father say,
'Jesus go and get your bride, today's your wedding day'"