Tuesday, October 13, 2015

ENGAGEMENT!

I HAVE BEEN PRIVILEGED, over the past three months to officiate at three weddings. Each one quite different than the other, and each one incredibly special. As a pastor, I require a number of premarital sessions of interaction between the couple and myself and over the 38 years of ministry some aspects of those sessions have changed. Some include couples that are in the “neighborhood.” Some couples travel to meet with me, and more recently I have used video communication programs like Skype.

Though the methods have changed over the years very little has changed in the process and the material we cover. Our goal is not just to plan a beautiful wedding day, though we work at that, too, but our true goal is to create a marital environment that will be lasting. We work on developing those areas of the couple’s relationship that will lead to a successful and permanent (til death do us part) marriage.  We celebrate their relational strengths, and we concentrate on those areas that need growth.

Yes, it does take time and effort, but I have discovered that those couples that are willing to work diligently to develop a strong, healthy and God-centered marriage will run the better probability of enjoying a growing and deepening marital relationship. Sadly, I have found that the opposite is also true; fail to do the heavy lifting up front and you run a greater risk of being crushed under the blows that come to all marriages later on.

There is also a spiritual application for the church. The church is not only the Body of Christ, but maybe even more importantly, we are the Bride of Christ. The Apostle Paul writes, “I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy. I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.” (2 Corinthians 11:2) The goal of the Apostle was to see the church develop so that he would be able to offer her as a beautiful bride without spot or wrinkle. (Ephesians 5:25-31)  In fact, in the Ephesian passage, the whole earthly marital relationship is but a living example of the Lord’s love relationship with His church.

So, here’s your part: do all that is necessary, as part of the Bride of Christ, to help ready each other for a beautiful wedding ceremony, for is that not what the engagement season is all about? (Revelation 19:7-9; 21:21; 22:17)

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