It was the big day: the day I walked down the aisle, said my vows, and exchanged rings with the man who was to be my husband.
The music paused, and from the entryway I could vaguely hear my future father-in-law reading the passage my groom and I picked out together. I couldn’t quite hear the words, but I knew the passage well enough. Genesis 2. God made Adam, but saw that it was not good for him to be alone. So God took one of Adam’s ribs and made a woman. “He brought her to the man. The man said, ‘This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh’ ” (Genesis 2:23). Adam’s words, especially, were the most beautiful love song. In future days, my husband often whispered those words to me, reminding me how precious I was to him, and how very good God was. God invented marriage at the time of creation, and on this big day, my groom and I remembered that God gave marriage to us as a gift. It is something sacred to our God, something so much greater than my groom and I could imagine. A covenant we hope to honor for the rest of our lives.
The music started again. Bridesmaids and groomsmen led the way down the aisle. Soon it was my turn. Solemnly yet joyfully, the wedding march accompanied my father and I as we walked toward the altar. There he was—my groom awaiting me. I left my father and grasped my groom’s welcoming hand.
My uncle read the second passage, and this time I was able to savor every word. Ephesians 5:21-33. “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands . . . as the church submits to Christ . . . 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 . . .” I love this passage. From simple instructions to husbands and wives, Paul progresses to describe in such wondrous detail Christ’s love for His Church. My groom smiled at me. Though our friends and families set aside this day to celebrate our union, Paul challenges us to a much greater vision: the union of Christ and His Church.
Listening to those words, I cannot help but recall John’s vision in the book of Revelation: the promise of the wedding feast of the Lamb. Christ is spoken of as a groom a number of times throughout Scriptures. This metaphor culminates in Revelation 19:6-9, and the bride (the church) has prepared herself by dressing with the righteous acts of God’s people. That, dear reader, is the ultimate marriage.
Long had I looked forward to this day—when I and my groom are married. Many smiles and tears led up to this, and oh, what words can describe how I was feeling?
And yet, how much greater is our hope for the day of Christ’s return, when we will all be gathered up to spend eternity with our Lord and Savior, the One who loved us before we learned how to love?
My husband and I had a beautiful wedding. And in the four months since, God has provided so much more for us. Yet all that we have is nothing compared to what Christ has in store! Ultimately, our wedding was beautiful because it pointed us to the greater wedding—the complete joy and hope we will one day have in Christ.