The summer months are usually the busiest time of the year for weddings to take place. A time when couples exchange vows of commitment and love to one another, carrying with them the expectations of spending a lifetime together, fulfilling their dreams and goals in blissful matrimony.
The scriptures tell us that God has been preparing a bride for His Son Jesus for almost two thousand years. A bride, Apostle Paul says, that Christ will ultimately present to himself “…without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish… holy and blameless.” (Eph. 5:27)
Have you ever asked yourself the question, ‘would Jesus want to marry me?’ While that may seem like a provocative question, it really is one that each child of God needs to ask themselves. Am I allowing God to make me what His Son would want and desire to be with? What are the characteristics that Jesus is looking for in His bride when He returns for her at the end of this age? Let’s take a look at a few;
How often do we hear the words in a ceremony “...for better or worse, in sickness or in health, for richer or poorer…till death do us part.”, and yet more then half of all marriages are ending in divorce because of infidelity or that proverbial of reasons, “irreconcilable differences”. Jesus is looking for one who is committed only to Him, who, no matter how bad or how good life gets, will never forget their first love. Jesus is absolutely committed to us for he has promised “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb.13:5).
The best of marriages will always result from men and women who count their spouses as their best friend. Jesus has called us His friends if we do the things He asks us to do (John 16:14). But the greatest act a person can do is lay down their life for their friends and Jesus made that supreme sacrifice for His future bride (John 16:13). Best friends share everything together. They have such a close relationship that they even share their most intimate secrets and thoughts which leads to …
Successful marriages are built upon not only commitment and friendship but open and honest communication between spouses. Jesus has given us the privilege and opportunity to talk with Him anytime, anywhere. He not only wants us to share our life with Him but expects us to bring every experience whether they are trials and burdens or joys and victories before Him because He cares for us (I Peter 5:7). And communication always needs to be a two way street between spouses. How does Jesus communicate with us? He speaks to us through His Word, the Holy Bible. How often do we listen to Him?
No marriage can survive if it is not built upon a deep and enduring love between spouses. As love is part of God’s nature (I John 4:8), so it is of Jesus also. For you and me to be the bride of Christ we also must learn to develop that same love in ourselves. God has given us His spirit for that very purpose, so that we can ultimately reflect the love of His Son to a sinful and hate filled world. Jesus has shown His love to us by laying down His life for us and we need to reciprocate with the same, if need be, by being willing to lay our lives down for the brethren (I John 3:16).
A Forgiving Spirit:
The ultimate act of forgiveness was when God sent His only begotten Son to die on Calvary’s cross to take away our sins. And not only does He take away our sins but they are forgotten forever. The child of God needs to learn to forgive as the Lord Jesus forgave us. “…bearing with one another and forgiving each other…even as Christ forgave you, so also should you.” (Col.3:13)
Jesus has given us an engagement ring as a pledge of His commitment and faithfulness to us, it is the Holy Spirit (Eph.1:14; II Cor.5:5). Our acceptance of the Holy Spirit serves as our pledge to be spiritually faithful and committed in return. Jesus’ bride will ultimately be one who has kept herself chaste, undefiled by the world and it’s values (James 4:4) and untainted and steadfast against the deceitfulness of Satan as we pour out our love and pure devotion to Christ, our future husband (II Cor.11:2-4).
If these attributes of what Christ desires in His bride seem daunting and humanly unachievable – you are right! But God’s desire is to have a bride for His Son who is perfect, holy and righteous just like He is. And His desire will be fulfilled because His word never returns back to Him void (Isaiah 55:11). He who has begun the good work in us will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus’ return, (Phil.1:6). So have no fear but only anxious longing for that day when you will truly participate in a marriage that will last for eternity.
‘Praise the Lord! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns.
Let us be glad and rejoice, and let us give honor to Him.
For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb,
and His bride has prepared herself.’” Revelation 19:6-7