Bible sunlight

It’s more than just an illustration Scripture uses to teach us about God’s love for us and devotion to us. Follower and bride of Christ—young or wishin’, single or married: How is your marriage with Christ coming along?

A little teaching about marriage is a good place to start. Jake Mailhot writes about the importance Scripture places on marriage. Linger a bit on his words:

Genesis 2:18-24 is the foundational passage in Scripture about marriage…in it the husband and wife become one flesh…Marriages in which God himself is both matchmaker and minister bookend the Bible…The simple vessel of covenant marriage, created before Adam’s fall that led to our need for redemption, reveals and symbolizes to us the mysteries of the gospel and of Christ’s relationship with his covenant people (Eph. 5:32). Both Isaiah (54:5-6) and Hosea (2:16-20) describe the redemptive relationship of God to his people as like a husband to his wife, pointing forward to Christ. Clearly, marriage, especially Christian marriage, is a ‘canvas upon which the Holy Spirit of God paints the gospel’…God has filled marriage with mystery and wonder.

When taken in slowly and deeply and often, the biblical portrait of marriage reveals the deepest picture of God’s love and devotion toward His own. Do you see it?

Marriage is very much on my heart. This week Cheryl and I celebrate our forty-sixth anniversary. Nearly a half century ago it didn’t take long for me to know she was “the one.” It is a stupendous thing to have been totally, sacrificially, devotedly, constantly pursued, accepted, loved, and romanced by this one woman for nearly half a century!

Several translations render Song of Solomon 5:1 with the writer describing himself as being “drunk with love.” Disclaimer: I am not advocating substance abuse or drunkenness. But many with a healthy, happy marriage will understand me when I say: I, too, am intoxicated by this lovely lady of Christ. She is like a gifted, expensive, fragrant wine—irresistible yet sipped slowly, invigorating the senses, humbly received and bringing joy. Like the “good wine” of Cana! The Bible uses and invites vivid words and illustrations.

Now, for every accolade I can say about marriage and my bride, Cheryl, it is even more so about Jesus Christ, our first love—our priority, foundational, ever-present, ever-growing, irreversible object of devotion and affection (Revelation 2:4). Astoundingly, it is also true we love Him because He “first loved us.”

Zelda Fitzgerald warmly said, “No one has measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.” (Thanks KB for this amazing quote) Do you, like me, have a two-chambered heart at full capacity?

Father, would you stretch my bursting, intoxicated heart so there is more room for Cheryl and Your dear Son, Jesus Christ?