I have spent the last two weekends at weddings. I have been in the background watching and observing, often behind the lens of the camera. When I look at the face of the groom at the front of the aisle waiting for his bride, I see great joy and excitement in his face. His hand is held out and ready to receive his bride as she approaches him.
As I see the bride walk towards her groom, she steps timidly at first but her eyes lock on his and each step becomes bolder and bolder. As she arrives at his arm, I see her face shines with adoration of him and her feeling of completion settles over her whole countenance.
It is at that moment when the two stand before the gathering, you can see that all their preparation was for this moment and they are embracing it with joy.
I don’t believe most brides or grooms that are ready to finally become one with their soul mate, stand before the congregation and plan to one day pull farther and farther away from their partner by seeking after their own selfish ways. I don’t believe a bride or groom that has prepared themselves, sit in front of all the witnesses with a plan to bail out at some point. Their ‘plan’ is to stay together forever, not to stay together until the next best thing or distraction comes along. They do not go into marriage with a desire or plan to forsake their love. But sadly so often this is exactly what happens. The bride and groom that fail, have forgotten their love and the setting aside of themselves for that love.
I am reminded how great the anticipation was for my wedding. From the time I was a young girl I would pour over bride magazines, dance in my room in a pretend wedding dress and veil that was made out of a set of sheets or table-cloth, and set up my stuffed animals to be the attendees. I just knew one day I wanted to get married, and I was practicing and watching others around me as I prepared to one day take my own steps down the aisle.
This scenario reminds me afresh my FIRST love with Jesus. I just glowed with anticipation of one day seeing Him face to face. I looked forward to spending time in His word, with His church, in worship and prayer and prepared myself for him. This is something that I must carry on daily. I can not let my love for Jesus grow dim. I die inside if I drift away.
If I want to stay sturdy in my relationship with Jesus, I must cultivate the relationship, just as a bride and groom must. I can not forsake my first love.
I can’t get lazy, or complacent, or settle for good enough. If a bride and groom get lazy or complacent or settle, they don’t develop anything deeper or richer in their lives, and often the intimacy is ruined and the walls start building up and a separation of heart occurs.
Jesus will never leave us or forsake us, but if we as His children (The bride of Christ) do not seek to continually develop our relationship and grow with Him, it is then us that leaves Him little by little until we are carrying His name only with us. When we drift away we are not carrying the essence of who He is, in our being.
I have watched others, slowly drift away to the point that you have forgotten that they ever knew Jesus, let alone once walked with Him hand in hand. They let their love fizzle and die out, forgetting the excitement and anticipation of belonging to Him. I have seen others ready to take on the name of Jesus (Christian) but not actually be prepared to belong to Him, by fully repenting and turning away from self. It is so very important to take on not only the name of Jesus but to truly belong to Him. Just as a faithful bride takes on her husband’s name, she is doing more than brandishing his name, she belongs to her husband and forsakes others and the ways of living for herself.
We must remember as a bride of Jesus, we now belong to Him and should desire to please Him by letting His word become alive and real in our life.
If you can not lay yourself down, and belong to Him fully, it is time to re-evaluate my friends. Why take on the name at all?
Challenge this day my friend: Rediscover the FIRST LOVE you had with Jesus. That first excitement and joy that you are the beloveds and He is yours. You belong to the Jesus that died and laid His life down, giving of himself for you. This is the greatest gift; Love. Remember your position as the bride of Christ and don’t take your place lightly.
If you have not fully had a JOY over your relationship with Jesus, pray that it may be so. Pray that you may become closer and have a fuller understanding. Continue to prepare your heart.
Do not be as the modern-day mockers of marriage… do not forsake your love for Him.
Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.