A marriage made in heaven

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Recently my wife and I had the privilege to attend the wedding celebration of two of our dear friends. I still remember the ceremony vividly. The bride looked beautiful and radiant as she entered the hall amidst the excitement of friends and family. Her eyes searched eagerly for those of the bridegroom standing in front. He was a nervous wreck, but as soon as he saw the vision of his bride in her white dress, those feelings dissipated. Tears flowed as they read their vows and promised to love each other for the rest of their lives.

This intimate wedding scene made me reflect on the deep affection that God feels towards us. A commitment built not only on words and promises, but a proven, demonstrated one. The fact that Jesus laid down his own life for us is the biggest display of selfless, unconditional love in all of history. Jesus is the perfect bridegroom who adores his beloved bride and has paid a high price for her hand in marriage. What a joy that we can find fulfilment, intimacy and unconditional love through an eternal marriage with our Saviour!

As Christians we cannot keep this important, life-changing truth to ourselves. Not when there are so many people desperate for God’s love: the homeless and helpless, the depressed, the traumatised, the abused, the suffering, those dependent on substances etc. This is all examples of people whom we must invite to partake in the grace available through our heavenly marriage with Jesus. It’s through this relationship and the kindness of believers that the world finds healing and restoration – not just someday in heaven but also in the here and now, even amidst life’s difficulties.

I know it’s not always easy to reach out and make a positive difference. Sometimes it’s awkward talking to people about matters of the heart. We find it much more natural to chat to people about the weather or other trivial matters, but we must try and step out of our comfort zones. Therefore I have thought about some guidelines that have helped me in the past:

  • Spend time with people and truly get to know them. Listening to someone means you validate their existence and you care enough about them to give them your undivided attention. Be attentive and look for the opportunities and the people whom God has placed in your life, be it at work, at church, on the mission field or with the stranger on the bus.
  • Tell people about God’s love, but be gentle and respectful in your approach. Don’t pretend to be perfect; be honest about your own shortcomings and share your personal struggles.
  • The written word is a powerful method to get the message of God’s love across, therefore make use of this resource. Christian Literature Fund offers a wide variety of free pamphlets that you can order to help in this regard. Highlight a verse or passage that you want to emphasize and interact with the persons to whom you hand it.
  • Pray for the people that God has put on your path. Only the Spirit of God has the power to heal and restore – don’t try and force people to change, but trust in the Lord and know that anything is possible. Perhaps you can make a list of people that God has placed in your life in order to pray for them?

A wedding is a cheerful affair and the one I mentioned was no exception. My wife and I relished  the company of friends and we enjoyed the delicious gourmet food. We laughed and danced until the early morning hours. Our union with God works just the same. Jesus took our hand in marriage so that we can enjoy His presence forever. But, when we look at a broken world, we can’t be satisfied with keeping this love to ourselves.

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