Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Bigger Picture...

Writing a post on marriage, love and relationships is just a little daunting for this single girl. I'm not an expert or a seasoned wife writing from years of experience. However, God has been pressing this very thing on my heart for the last little while. I want to share with you what HE has been and is currently teaching me.

I think I'm like most  girls- from the time I was little I always dreamed about the day when I would fall in love, plan a wedding, get married, have babies and live "happily ever after." When I was a little girl, I had a beautiful white lace dress that I used to play dress up in. I practically lived in that dress for most of my childhood until I grew out of it. That little dress, made me feel like a princess. I would dance and spin around in it. I even pranced around the house pretending I was walking down the aisle to meet my "imaginary groom." :)

The thing that I have realized since those days as a little girl is that marriage goes beyond just falling in love, weddings, honeymoons and white picket fences. Yes, the romance is a vital thing in the life of a couple. But marriage as God intended it to be- can be a beautiful picture of Christ and His Bride.

God has made us a people who desire communion, fellowship and intimacy with God and each other... which is a very good thing! When He made the world, there was perfect communion between God and man... yet, "it was not good that man be alone."  Thus, God made a helper for Adam- a woman fit for him who was there to encourage and support him and fill the earth through procreation. As Voddie Baucham says, "Have babies. Have lots of em."

But sin entered the world and today, marriages and relationships look far differently from what they did in the beginning and what God intended them to be. There's pain, rejection, hurt, heartbreak, unfaithfulness and divorce.

But as Christians, God has first given us the privilege of being called His sons and daughters...bearing His name and then commissioned to be His Hands and Feet in this broken world. But do we realize the weight of what a Christian marriage represents? When we see the big picture of what marriage is, what it can be when Christ is at the center and what it calls us to be- we won't settle for just anybody. God has given us the responsibility and opportunity to be a living, breathing demonstrating and representation of Christ and His love for His Bride-the church.

So love and marriage must be more than just Cupid striking, a feeling, a charmer, a handsome face or saying all the right things.  So if our lives, relationships and marriages are to be patterned after Christ- we must look to Him- the Author of Love, in order to know what love truly is. It is He who created and ordained it for He is Love itself. So we must look through His eyes to know how we are to love each other. If Christ is going to be glorified in a marriage it must be first and foremost made up of a man and a woman who have individually set their sights on the King of Kings and have lost sight of all beside. They must look to Him first as their satisfaction, joy, and hope. Then together they are able to give God glory in their lives individually and together as a couple. It starts with beholding Christ. Looking to Him and as we gaze upon Him- we are made like Him.

In Scripture over and over again, God declares His love and faithfulness to His children. They weren't  perfect, obedient children but most of them were unfaithful, unbelieving, distracted, and faithless people. I think we can be a lot like that too sometimes, don't you think?

Yet, God declares,

"I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore I will continue my faithfulness to you."

(Jeremiah 31:3)

 God pursues His people and loves them regardless of whether they love Him back. Even while we were still sinners- enemies of God- Christ died for us. It was His pursuit of our hearts that drove Him to the cross and caused His blood to be shed on our behalf. His love for us was not because of anything we could do or feeling we could give God but solely because He deeply, passionately loves us.

Voddie Baucham in his sermon series entitled "Love and Marriage" (which I highly recommend) says it better than I ever could.

"Biblical love is an act ( a choice) of the will, accompanied by emotion (not led by emotion but not void of emotion) that leads to action on behalf of its object. Jesus is our model for biblical love. He didn't feel like going to the cross- but He chose to love the church. It was accompanied by emotion so intense that He sweat drops of blood and it led to action on behalf of its object. Jesus didn't need the cross- You and I did. He didn't do it because it made Him feel good about Himself. He did it because it was the only way for His Bride to be redeemed. That is biblical love. This is a love that will last- a love that is stable and it is a foundation for a godly marriage to be built upon."

 -Voddie Baucham

So what does this look like practically? I can't give you a map and say, "follow X, Y and Z and it will turn out perfectly into happily ever after.  But I can tell you is...Look to Jesus. It's only His power through the work of the Holy Spirit that enable us to be the men and women, single people, husbands and wives, fathers and mothers that God calls us to be.

I know this is kind of scattered thoughts but I hope this encourages and challenges you as it has me to be what God has designed us to be.  I'm working on digging deeper into this and will probably write more about it. You'll just have to wait and see! Hopefully it won't be another 6 months before I post again. Promise... I won't.  :)


1 comment:

brookesahraylydick said...

This is so good! Thank you for sharing that!