A Different Take on Weddings

I went to the wedding today. It was lovely, as just about all weddings are. As usual, many people put a lot of time and thought and effort into the planning and preparation.

Many people would say that the wedding day is all about the bride. That it’s her day to shine and it’s all about her. I would disagree. It’s not the bride’s mother’s day either, even though she’s dreamed of this day since her girl was little and serving imaginary tea to her dressed-up dolls.

In my humble opinion, the wedding day is all about Jesus. Or it should be. Anyone who really understands the depths of marriage and all its symbolism knows that it’s more than just the union of two people. The Bible in Ephesians reminds us that marriage is a picture of just how much Christ loves His Bride, the Church, and gave everything for her.

A biblical marriage is a lived-out testimony to that great love of Jesus for the Church. It’s about two people coming together to not only serve each other, but to serve others in a way that’s better than they each could individually.

I haven’t been married, but I know that marriage is hard. Probably harder in this anti-marriage culture than ever before. Only two people under the Lordship of Christ and each in love with Jesus can not only sustain a marriage and thrive in it. Only the indwelling Spirit of Christ can overcome the innate selfishness of two people that really shows its ugly head after the marriage begins.

So I’m happy for both the bride and groom. Nothing gives me more joy to see the bride in all her radiance walking down the aisle, looking more beautiful than ever. Nothing makes me smile than seeing the groom’s face when he sees his bride for the first time in her wedding gown.

But nothing beats the joy that knowing when a wedding truly celebrates Jesus and exalts Him to His rightful place in the marriage. Nothing blesses my heart more than when a wedding ceremony is truly a worship celebration.

One day when I get married, I hope it will truly be celebration of the goodness and greatness of God. I hope that it’s not my bride’s day or her mother’s day, but a day that belongs most of all to Jesus.


My two cents on spiritual warfare

A group of guys and I have been watching a DVD series on spiritual warfare by Chip Ingram called The Invisible War (and yes, that was a shameless plug). It got me thinking about the mindset of so many American believers (including me) regarding the whole topic of spiritual warfare. Plainly put, either most of us don’t believe there is an war going on with an enemy that is constantly seeking our destruction. If we believe, we sure don’t live like it much of the time. Again, me included.

The war is real. The enemy is real. In this world, we are not tourists on vacation, or passengers on some kind of luxury cruise, but soldiers engaged in battle. Our ignorance of the battle and our enemy can only do us harm. We need to wake up to realize that we are under attack. But here’s the best part.

The battle is already won. Chip Ingram said, “As believers in Christ, we don’t fight FOR victory. We fight FROM victory.” That’s the good news (which is why it’s called the gospel!). But there is still a battle.

We fight back by putting on the armor of God as described in Ephesians 6: the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. We should pray these on every morning and pray these for each other on a daily basis. We should pray with eyes wide open to the spiritual realm, asking God to give us eyes to see the battle around us like the Elijah prayed for his servant when they were surrounded by the Syrian army. We should pray for discernment and wisdom. Most of all, we should pray at all times to be Spirit-filled and Spirit-controlled, taking every thought captive and submitting them to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

We must fight together. If you are fighting the enemy on your own, apart from other believers, you may succeed for a season, but you will ultimately grow weary and faint. You will stumble and fall. You need other believers praying God’s protection over you, encouraging you and keeping you honest.

We fight ultimately with one weapon– LOVE. Not as a feeling, but as a decisive act of the will. We fight by showing that Calvary’s love is stronger than hate and that love overcomes anything. Chip Ingram said, “Love is giving to another person what they need the most when they deserve it least.” Love is doing whatever you can, even to your own detriment, for the good of the beloved. It means dying to yourself and your rights and own ideas about how the world should work.

So live with eyes wide open, hands raised, side by side with your brothers and sisters in Christ. And remember that the battle is already won and that we have overcome!

As always, I believe. Help my unbelief.