It is a marvelous season of the year, and my life, as I have the joy and honor of seeing many of my friends happily becoming engaged or married. I have witnessed two weddings of very dear friends in this month alone, one of which was the most beautiful wedding I have ever been to. The chapel was gracefully decorated, paper lanterns of various shapes glowing blue. The wedding party entered, dressed in fine regalia, and the groom was beaming with joy of a dream come true. His youngest brother came in carrying a sign that read, “Here comes the bride!”
We all stood and turned our heads; it was as though an angel had appeared in our midst. Wearing white – the radiant fire of true purity – she shone in the light. The entire affair was pure loveliness, pure radiance, pure joy. The Light of the World shone through His beloved vessels that night.
The second wedding of the month was equally wonderful, but it felt different, unique. The bride appeared ethereal, and as we all stood gazing, the groom could not help but let a quick “Oh my goodness” escape his lips.
Then came the consummation of it all, when, after the vows had been said, the covenant had been affirmed, the pastor said, “You may now kiss your bride.” Oh, the beauty of pure love! I challenge any man who does not believe in magic to witness the purity and the happiness I saw as, somehow, two people are made into one flesh. This is something that the world cannot understand, for it is holy.
It is especially magical, knowing personally the bride and groom, and being intimate with their love story. The first groom is a man who has been my elder brother, a companion, and friend. The second, an intimate brother, one with whom I have fought alongside of, laughed alongside of, and cried alongside of. Their stories are both testimonies to the great grace and love of our God. As they both begin their lives together with their new spouses, I ask God to bless their unions. What God hath joined together, may no man break asunder.
Paul’s words in Ephesians 5 are some of the greatest and most beautiful verses on marriage in Scripture:
Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
In the end, every Christian marriage is to be a parable of the love Christ has for His Church. A wedding ceremony in itself is a picture of this: The bride, dressed in white, cleansed and pure. They exchange a covenant, holy before God. The groom gives his life to his bride; the bride, in return, takes on the groom’s name, and will forever be known by him. They came in separate; they leave as one. This parable known as marriage will one day end, for it is but a shadow of what is to come. And imagine – if the shadow is glorious, how much more the fullness!