Summary: To look at ourselves as the Bride of Christ and see if we are prepared for the Groom, Jesus.
As most of you realize, & you husbands better remember, this Friday is a very special day. It is Valentine’s Day, a day that is set aside for Love.
A group of young adults were discussing the subject, "How do you say `I love you’ to someone?"
In answer to that, one wife shared how her husband had "popped the question." While she was with a group of her girlfriends, he had shown up unexpectedly, wearing his best suit. And in front of everyone, he took her hand, kneeled down before her, & asked her to marry him!
I must admit though, that I approach our topic today with a sense of hesitancy. By no means because it is not a relevant subject, because I strongly feel that it is one that the church needs to be addressing
Rather my fear is one of general appeal.
- Not all people are married; some have never known the experience of being a husband or a wife.
- And others still grieve over the loss of a wife or a husband, after many years of marriage.
- And harder yet is the pain I feel for divorced people in our church family who have discovered that the grace of God does extend to them as well.
Yet, the urgency of this message overrides every fear.
Illustration: I know you have heard the story of some children who were playing outside and were going to pretend they were getting married. The parts were quickly filled- the preacher, the bride, the groom and so on. As they were imitating the wedding ceremony, the child who was the preacher didn’t know what to say; at last one of his friends said, “quote a scripture.” So he quoted Luke 23:34, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
I doubt whether any one of us really knew what we were doing when we got married- even if this particular scripture was not a part of our ceremony. I know I didn’t, and I have to confess I think I am still learning.
Illustration: Someone has said that marriage is when you agree to spend the rest of your life sleeping in a room that is too warm, beside someone who is sleeping in a room that is too cold.
As I have worked with many of the couples in the preparation of their wedding services I have been amused, amazed and blessed at the different ways each one has tried to express their individuality, uniqueness and love for each other.
Marriage is an awesome responsibility isn’t it? It is one of those commitments that a person makes not fully realizing all that is involved until after you have said yes.
Do you know there is not a single person present in our worship this morning? No, it is true. Everyone one of us is either preparing to get married or if you are a Christian, you are already married.
How can this be you ask? Because in the Scriptures the church is referred to as the Bride of Christ. Please follow along with me this morning as I share God’s Word found in,
Ephesians 5: 22-33 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing[a] her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
If you are seeking to become a Christian you are a bride in waiting, but if you are already a Christian you have been married to Jesus through your salvation.
In my years as a pastor I have met all kinds of brides. Most of them I had a feeling were going to be make wonderful wives, but there were a few that I thought to myself, “this young man is going to have a real wake up call.”