An outdoor celebration of love and commitment was unfolding before my very eyes. The groom and the wedding party had already worked their way to the front of the outdoor amphitheater. Now the bride, in all of her radiant beauty, was walking with her proud father to the front of the assembled guests. Something wonderful and magical was about to happen. Two were in the process of becoming one. Lord willing, a union was forming that would last a life time. A union that would bring great joy to all.
At the end of this marriage ceremony the bride and the groom signed a marriage certificate/license….a contract? This was also signed by the best man & the maid of honor. I too signed the certificate. This marriage contract is recognized by the state of Colorado. It certifies that this marital union is official.
This certificate is a legal document. Therefore, it implies conditionality: I will love you as long as you love me. But once you stop loving me than I do not need to continue to love you. It implies the essence of quid pro quo.
The marriage certificate invites us to weigh and measure what the other person is doing compared to what we are doing. It measures behavior….it does not measure the heart. It does not transform the heart.
God does not talk about marriage in terms of contract. He talks about it in terms of covenant. The marriage covenant is about loving unconditionally. Yet, unconditional love is outside our natural ability. So why talk about it? God’s design is that the bride and the groom are each uniquely and profoundly connected to Him. That unique, profound and individual connection allows them to love one another in selfless and heroic ways. It allows them to embody servant leadership. God is in the business of transforming the heart so that we can love the other, unconditionally.
Ephesians talks about loving our spouse as Christ loved the church. How did Christ love the church? He gave everything He had that the church might flourish. That sort of love is only possible as one is connected to the source of infinite love….God, himself.
My covenant commitment is about loving God and allowing Him to love me. Out of that relationship I am called and I am empowered to love my beautiful bride, no matter what. Ultimately, she is called into that same empowering relationship. She is called to love me unconditionally. Yet, if she does not do that, I am still called & empowered to love her unconditionally. That is the adventure!
The couple that is signing their marriage contract today is embarking on an adventure. They are beginning the journey of loving in extravagant, unconditional ways. This journey is possible because they are extravagantly loved.
How is His extravagant love transforming your heart and changing your journey this day?
Amp The Joy!