Scripture: Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” (Revelation 19:6-9)
Marriage is meant to be a picture of the relationship between Jesus and the church, and it is the culmination of redemptive history. In that way, we can think of marriage as a witness to the love of God in Christ. Marriage is not a contract that is given up whenever one of the two parties becomes dissatisfied for any given reason, but a covenant that both parties commit to “til death do us part.” That commitment “in sickness and in health” and “for richer or for poorer” and “for better or for worse” is sustained through the difficulties of life and creates the context for intimacy. We learn to be honest—really honest—when we know that our spouse will be there for us no matter what. That is what our relationship with God is like in Jesus Christ. His love for us is permanently established, and so we have the freedom to be honest—honest about our pain, our sin, our fears, our desires and needs, our joys. Because no matter what’s revealed, he will neither leave us nor forsake us. That’s what marriage is meant to be about. It’s a picture of God’s love for us.
Prayer: Father, we pray for all the marriages in our church, that you would strengthen those who are weak and that you would encourage the hearts of those who are fainting. Have mercy on us, Lord, for our commitment waivers where yours is strong; our feelings ebb and flow while yours are steady and true; our faith is weak while your faithfulness is strong. Remember that we are but dust and ashes and fill us with your Spirit so that we might live out your mission for marriage. Amen.