Bridegroom, bride

waltz-153984_640Isaiah 62:5: For as a young man marries a young woman, so shall your sons marry you, and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.

The marriage relationship between a man and a woman is the deepest there is. The bible says that a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two shall become one flesh (Genesis 2:24), in the deepest connection possible for an earthly relationship. That is the way God has designed it, so much so that the bible says that he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favour from the Lord (Proverbs 18:22). To find the right human being of the opposite sex to have this level of connection with is really a big deal.

Marriage is part of the process for fulfilling the divine mandate given to man in the Garden of Eden that we should replenish the earth, multiply (Genesis 1:26-28). The children are meant to be brought up in the deep security that the close relationship between the father and mother provides. That careful nurturing and supply of needs are important for the trans-generational emotional health.

But we live in a damaged world, with damaged family units, through the sin of Adam. When there is disconnect between God and man because of sin, connecting with one another becomes problematic. So our hope cannot be in the family units any more but in Christ.

Through him we come back into relationship with our heavenly father, brought back in fellowship, in deep spiritual connection where now we have security, supply and support in divine perfection.

It is the mandate of fathers to bring up the child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). The bible also says: train up a child in the way that he should go, and when he is grown up, he shall not depart from it (Proverbs 22:6). A child therefore should go through the process of growth and development in the context of the family, with the care and personal development it offers.

When David was talking about the Lord as his shepherd, he said of him: your rod and your staff they comfort me (Psalm 23). The staff is for progression, the rod for restriction, care and discipline respectively. In the church as children of God, we have discipline and care. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that when we are disciplined by the Lord it is so that we might become partakers of his holiness (Hebrews 12:10), sharing his essence.

The formation of the child is important. Paul says that the child is put under tutors and guardians, until he is grown enough to enter into his inheritance (Galatians 4:1-2). The first business of the child is to develop; every exposure should be calculated to aid the development of the child. Fathers are told to not provoke the children to wrath, speaking of the powerful influence the father has over the child, which can either be abused or used properly. They can provoke to wrath, or to be better individuals.

While teaching the church in Ephesians of the divine order in the relationship of marriage, Paul said that the plan of God is that the marriage between the husband and wife should be patterned after the relationship between Christ and the church (Ephesians 5:22-33).

Christ is passionate about the church, he gave his life to redeem her and rescue her from the quagmire of sin and shame. To present to himself a glorious church, surpassing in beauty, he washes her by the washing of water by the word. The word is therefore the means of making the bride ready and presentable to Christ; make her worthy of him (Colossians 1:9-10).

The bridegroom and the bride exist in the context of each other. The bridegroom in the case of Christ dies for the bride while the bride (church) submits to the bridegroom. The very life of the bridegroom is laid down for the redemption of the bride, while the will, mind and emotions of the bride should be bent towards the bridegroom.

The bride are those who have been called out from all the nations of the world, they have been washed by the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 1:5). They have encountered the love of God in Jesus, and they are expected to respond to that in like manner, as the Holy Spirit comes to the heart to work on it making it possible for the emotion, will and mind to be after the bridegroom (Romans 5:5).

Mind

For the bride to love the bridegroom with her mind means that her thoughts are full of the bridegroom. That is what Paul meant when he said that our hearts should be filled with the words of Christ (Colossians 3:16). We are meant to experience the renewal of our mind (Romans 12:1-2); in another place he said we should be renewed in the spirit of our mind (Ephesians 4:23).

The love of Christ mediated by the Holy Spirit should mark our thought processes. Though we have not seen him, we love him, because we see him, and he is beautiful beyond description, in the eyes of our heart. Our heart through the thoughts of our mind beats with love for him.

Will

For the will to love him means it follows his direction (John 14:15). That is the life of obedience, of doing what he says, what he wants. Since Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9-10), that means the will of the bride is meant to be aligned to him. Doing his will becomes joy, waiting on him is what life is all about as we get to know his heart, know his ways, move at his pace, which is all walking with God is about.

The Holy Spirit makes this possible. As we walk in the Spirit we are made to be in alignment with Christ. That is the mandate of the Holy Spirit, to move our will close to Christ’s; to take of what is Christ’s, in his will, and reveal it to us (John 16:13-15), thereby making us amenable to it.

Emotion

Emotion reflects our sense of being secure or being important, so there is a full spectrum of emotion that we can possibly have/express, ranging from joy to despair. Emotion or an anticipated emotion is the immediate (surface) motivation for an action or inaction.

The emotion are the most unexplainable, most fluid of the soul content which also includes will and the mind, and the first things that reacts to situations around us. They are not trustworthy because they change too much and too fast. You cannot depend on your emotion. However when the thought is right and the will is right in alignment with Christ definitely the emotion will also be right.

The bible says rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn (Romans 12:15), which shows our capacity to mimic the emotion of those we are identified with. In the same way we can mimic the emotions of Christ.

Sometimes we experience sadness and joy without even realising why, not because there is something wrong with us, but because we are so one with Christ we share in his emotion all the time, from time to time and from place to place, situation to situation, in oneness with him, in all things.

 

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