I attended a beautiful beach wedding this past weekend. The bride and groom promised to be faithful to each other until death do them part. They entered into a covenant before God and promised to stick with each other through better or worse.
I remember making the same commitment to my husband and thinking at the time about the transition from dating into the covenant of marriage. The Bible compares the relationship between Christ and the Church with the relationship between a groom and his bride.
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.” — Revelation 19:7
Christ is the ultimate example of a bridegroom. Everything good that little girls (or grown up girls) long for in a prince can be found in Christ. The Word tells us he is faithful and that his promises are true. The marriage that the Bible speaks of is a marriage that will last forever.
When I married my husband I remember thinking, ‘this man is promising to be faithful to me no matter what. He fears God and believes that marriage is forever. Even if I hurt him or make selfish decisions, he will not leave me. I will be safe in his love.’ And therein is the beauty of the marriage covenant (when both parties fear the seriousness of the commitment). Not that we are free to hurt each other and be forgiven and taken back, but that because we are covered by love and commitment, we desire to build each other up and to see our marriages grow stronger.
Knowing that my husband loves me and has promised faithfulness inspires me to give him the same. Rather than behaving like I have a ‘get out of jail free’ card and an excuse to live according to my own needs and desires as a single woman, I rather desire to honour him and be faithful to him in everything I do. This is my ambition.
So why is it that some of us think that we can follow our own selfish notions and even if we get it wrong, it’s okay as God will love us anyway. He will, when we repent, welcome us home with open arms. We know this. But knowing that someone loves us so much should encourage us to be faithful. So what is it to be faithful to Christ? I think that most simply put, it’s putting him first. It’s not looking for saviours or princes or idols elsewhere, but being content that he is the way the truth and the life and that is more than we could have ever hoped for!