Nearly Fifty Years
Wow, only one year and nine months before Joe and I celebrate our fiftieth anniversary. Fifty years of marriage is quite a statement anymore. People's jaws drop open when we say this. Some folks ask, "Was it a good marriage? Did you have stormy times?" I wish I could say that we were in complete agreement all those years. But anyone who has been married for a day knows that's not likely. In truth, there were a lot of tears and a lot of apologies. We asked each other for forgiveness and we did our share of making up.
The early years were the most difficult. But Joe and I were in agreement on at least one thing. We agreed that our marriage was more important than any disagreement. No matter how hard we fought, we were still married. We understood that we were no longer our own. We belonged to each other. I put his hopes and dreams above my own and he put mine ahead of his. Joe and I have no bragging rights. The Lord has partnered with us in our marriage and will bring us soon to fifty years.
There is much to learn from marriage, whether we are married or not. In the Bible we are described as His bride. When we accept Him we enter a lifelong relationship with our Lord and Savior. He gave Himself when He shed His blood for us and became the sacrifice for our sin. Likewise, we become His when we confess Him as Lord and believed in His resurrection. We are no longer "our own". We are His. This relationship we share with Jesus is dear to Him. Notice how Paul describes the jealousy of God for us.
Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly—and indeed you do bear with me. For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:1-2
The relationship between Jesus and the Church is a model for a good marriage between a man and a woman. Jesus is the ultimate husband.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. Ephesians 5:25-27
Isn't it beautiful how He claims us, His church, as His wife in Revelation?
Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” Revelation 19:7-9
Clearly Jesus has put us first in so many ways. What about us? Are we still our own? Have we put Him first in our lives? Do we turn to Jesus before we turn to our spouse, or make a big decision or solve a problem at work? Are we jealous of our time with Him? Do we dream of talking with him every morning?
If we are serious about our walk with Christ Jesus, He won't take a back seat in our lives. He wants to be a partner in our marriage, our mentor at work, and our first thought every morning. We have an eternal commitment to Him.
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Not there yet? No problem. Christ Jesus is a gentleman. He knows we are young and inexperienced. Remember we are talking about the creator of our universe. If you need help finding your way back to Him all you have to do is ask.
And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive. Matthew 21:22