April 20th, 2009

“(Love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”  (1 Corinthians 13:7-8a)


My memory for events in the past is not always that good.  But certain red-letter days are indelibly impressed into my mind.  Like my wedding.

I remember what the minister said – it was a meditation about “promises.”  I remember the song I sang to Linda and the song we sang together.  I remember the church sanctuary.  I remember the vows we wrote and read to each other.  I remember the reception – the family and friends, the food, the sneaky getaway.  I remember the empty tank of gas in the getaway car.

But mostly I remember my bride.  I remember her appearing at the back on her father’s arm.  I remember watching her walk toward me.  I remember looking into her eyes and being absolutely sure she was the woman I wanted to spend my life with.

Thirty years later, she’s still my bride.  I still love the fact that she’s my last good night and she’s beside me when I wake.  I enjoy being with her and working with her.  She encourages me, she challenges me, and she models for me a life of following Christ.  She still laughs at my humor more than anyone else.

I love my bride.  Does she have flaws?  Of course she does.  But in my mind they are overwhelmed by her beauty, her strength, her character, and her promise.  My whole heart, soul, and body belong to her completely.  I am unconditionally committed to love, honor, and be faithful to her.  I pray for her more than for anyone else.  I would die for my bride.

That’s how Jesus feels about his bride.

Last week I suggested I may have found my new favorite book:  Stop Dating the Church , by Joshua Harris. There was a caveat, however…I hadn’t read the whole book.  Now that I finished, it’s not my all-time favorite.  More on that next week.

But here’s what Harris conveys well:  “Christ’s love for His church is not flighty – He is tender and patient.  His love isn’t fickle – He is committed.  He intercedes on our behalf constantly before the Father.  He nourishes, cherishes, sustains, protects.

“God invented romance and pursuit and the promise of undying love between a man and a woman so that throughout our lives we could catch a faint glimmer of the intense love Christ has for those He died to save.  What passion He has for His Church!”

So the question Joshua Harris raises for us is this:  Do we love His bride as much as He does?  Are we as committed as He is?

I’d love to hear from you on what that looks like in your life or what questions it raises.

3 Responses to Dating the Church – On Second Thought »

  • UnusuallyQuiet says:

    ” overwhelmed by her beauty, her strength, her character, and her promise. My whole heart, soul, and body belong to her completely. I am unconditionally committed to love, honor, and be faithful to her. I pray for her more than for anyone else. I would die for my bride ”

    THIS IS THE DEEPEST MUSHY GUSHY I have read in quite some time!
    It was good reading though!

    This reader is 100% positive she feels the same way about you.

  • Jenise says:

    I am involved in a healthy but not perfect church. When i came to the church some 13 years ago, i was puffed up and full of pride with a lot of apologetics exposure and good, rich, reformed doctrine. My view of church life was totlly a consumer approach. As the Lord tore down my walls of pride throughout the years in my own life, increased my view of His Sovereignty and as He exposed my sin areas and brought correction through accountability with faithful friends speaking the truth in love to me, He increased my love for others because i now saw the love He had for me and how gracious He truly is to me. This internal process is what effectually made me love His bride…..our criticalness only demonstrates our own wicked heart that we truly do not love Him and love His bride for which He died to save….i am not saying this in a spirit of condemnation, but in a spirit of the reality of our true sinful condition…we do not love as we ought and so our love for the bride of Christ is not a hopeful one that sees her without blemish as in the honeymoon stage…..she has been bought with the very blood of Christ. She is messy at times, but she is not what she will be yet….we must be patient with her as her true lover and forebear, forgive, encourage, admonish, teach and disciple her…the flock will ultimately reflect theGood Shepherd, but the earthly sherpherd will be accountable for her to Him. May our true Shepherd be gracious to you and give you incredible wisdom for your sheep. I earnestly pray the Lord would overwhelm you with His incredible love for you, may you fall in love with Him, over and over again. I pray also for prayer warriors in your congregation to be stirred and to ask of the Lord to do what is not possible with man but truly possible with God. I am praying for a revival of astronomical proportions, beyond your wildest dreams in your congregation. Not for your benefit, but for the glory of he Lamb that was slain!

  • Jenise says:

    Oh, i forgot to warn you, that the Lord is kind to me and for unknown reasons to me except that i am His daughter, He does answer my prayers, so be on guard. I am excited to see what He will do because i have never prayed a prayer like that ever, i can only attest that it had to be the Holy Spirit.

Leave a Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.