April 18, 2013
The Perfect Wedding
“For your Maker is your husband—
the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer;
he is called the God of all the earth.” (Isaiah 54:5 NIV)
Friend to Friend
I was five-years-old, just a wisp of a little girl living in a dream world all my own. On one particular afternoon, I gathered my supplies and prepared for the big day. First, I wrapped a long white sheet around my slender body and draped the excess over my shoulder and down my back. Then I draped a bath-sized towel over the crown of my head like a veil and clutched a bouquet of plastic flowers to my chest. I stood at the end of my home’s long hallway and the processional began. I could almost hear the organ playing “Here comes the bride,” as I sashayed down the “aisle” with imaginary friends and family looking on.
Little girls and big girls dream about the day they will become a bride. And for many, that dream doesn’t always turn out the way they had hoped. But here is some good news…some great news; no matter what your marital status this side of heaven - never married, once married, happily married, widowed or divorced, God is your holy Husband who longs to protect you, provide for you, and cherish you through all the ups and downs of life. His name is Ish – Husband.
We first see God’s name as Ish or Husband in the book of Isaiah: “For your Maker is your husband — the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”
In the New Testament, Jesus is also referred to as the husband for his bride – the Church.
I asked my husband what visual image forms in his mind when he reads that he is part of the “Bride of Christ.”
“Nothing really,” he replied.
Granted, I can’t picture Steve walking down the aisle in a pearl studded wedding gown. But oh sister, I can see myself waltzing down the aisle to meet my Jesus. Can’t you? What a blessing God has given His female image-bearers as the Bride of Christ, and He our husband!
In the Old Testament Jewish tradition, the father chose a bride for his son. If the woman accepted the proposal of marriage, the groom paid a “bride price” to her family of a few cows, a couple of sheep, or perhaps some gold trinkets. The couple drank from a cup of wine to seal the marriage covenant between them, and would not drink of it again until the day of the wedding ceremony. Then the groom left his betrothed and went back to his father’s house to build a home for her. Once the home was competed to the father’s satisfaction, the young man returned to whisk away his bride. Usually this took place in the middle of the night with torch toting groomsmen whooping and hollering to let her know they were on their way. Her responsibility was to be prepared – to be ready at all times.
And so it is with your groom. God has chosen you to be the bride for his Son (Ephesians 1:4). Jesus paid the ultimate bride price for you when He gave His very life on the cross (1 Corinthians 6:20). At the last supper, after Jesus and his disciples had broken the bread and drank the wine, He explained to them, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29).
And where is Jesus right now? He is preparing your home. “My Father’s house has many rooms,” Jesus said, “if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3). And when his Father says it is time, Jesus will come back like a “thief in the night” to whisk away his bride (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2).
Doesn’t that just give you chills!
Whether you are divorced with a heart broken by betrayal, widowed with a bed chilled by loneliness, single with still no promise of a ring on your finger, or happily joined to the man of your dreams, Jesus longs to take you in his arms, not simply “for as long as you both shall live,” but for all eternity.
Yahweh Ish, Thank You for caring for me as a husband cares for his bride. Thank You for Your protection, provision, and never-ending love. I rest in the knowledge that You are my sacred Ish, not simply “til’ death do us part,” but for all eternity.
In Jesus’s Name,
Now It’s Your Turn
Look up the following verses and note how Jesus referred to himself:
Hosea 2:16, 19-20
What comes to your mind when you think of Jesus as the groom and you as the Bride? Share your answer on my blog page in the comment box.
More from the Girlfriends
I don’t know about you, but for most of us, life doesn’t usually turn out the way we had hoped. Broken dreams litter life. But here’s the good news! God has a purpose and a plan. HE has a more amazing plan for you than you ever imagined. If you have lost sight of your dreams, grab onto God’s hand and travel to a place you thought you’d never find. The dreams God had planned for you all along. I’m offering a special offer to my blog readers for the month of April. Buy 1 copy of Dreams of a Woman: God’s Plan for Fulfilling Your Dreams and get one free. When you purchase 1 copy, we’ll ship you 2. It won’t show up on your receipt, but 2 will show up in your package. This is only for the month of April. Only for my blog readers.
Click here to learn more about hosting a Girlfriends in God conference in your area or having one of the GiGs speak at your next women's event.
Originally published Thursday, 18 April 2013.