“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish” (Eph. 5:25-27).
Jennifer and I were going to read this passage together on Saturday but Jennifer misplaced my Bible at some point through the course of a very fast-paced but very good day. Thankfully she and I remembered the essential thrust of the passage as I have been blogging and teaching about marriage and she is often the first critic of my teaching and writing! So, not having my Bible on hand (come to find out it had merely fallen under my car seat where we could not see it), Jennifer and I discussed what it means for me to love her like Christ loves the church as well as what it means for her to submit to me as I follow Christ. We also talked about how marriage’s ultimate purpose is to display the glory of God in the redemption of sinners like myself and Jennifer in Christ!
After a short discussion, Jennifer and I prayed together. This was a new development as Jennifer and I do not pray together because, as I see it, praying is a very intimate activity that men and women ought to be very careful about doing outside of marriage. So in praying with Jennifer on Saturday, I was breaking my own rule, I think, however, I did so with good reason. Jennifer and I took the first step in our spiritual lives together on Saturday when I asked her to marry me! We prayed that the Lord would bless our future marriage and that we would continually point each other to the ultimate purpose of marriage–to display God’s glory in redemption. I prayed for her that she would learn to submit to me as I submit to Christ and she prayed that I would learn to love her as Christ loves the church and gave himself up for her.
Praying with Jennifer like this was a new experience seeing as how we had always been so careful in the way that we prayed with each other before. There were many memorable moments on Saturday and if you persuade me enough I might tell you some of the more amusing ones, but I think the most memorable moment for me was hearing my future wife pray that I would passionately pursue Jesus and lovingly lead her as we pursue Christ together. I can’t tell you how encouraging hearing Jennifer pray for me like that was, so I will simply say that it was the highlight of one of the best days of my life! Also, I cannot properly express the joy that I have been experiencing over the last two days knowing that Lord has blessed me with a wonderful, godly, Jesus-pursuing future wife, so I will just say that the Lord’s grace is sweet.
I do know, however, that marriage is not easy and I know that marriage is meant to display the glory of God in redemption, so I do ask that you pray for Jennifer and I as we seek to pursue Christ together as we seek prepare for marriage.
I intend to finish my next post on divorce and remarriage by the end of the week, but I thought I would briefly share with you the joy with which the Lord has blessed me.