This is along the lines of a personal note…
Well, today I get to dress up like a penguin and do something honorable and humbling. As I place my daughter’s hand into another man’s hand, I proclaim to those gathered and to the Father that He is Worthy of Praise and Adoration. I hope that He will be honored and glorified. Marriage is His institution, after all.
For the past few weeks many have come up and asked me how I am doing. Perhaps to encourage me to reflect; perhaps out of concern. I have been showered with many exhortations of, “Good Luck” and other well-meaning well-wishes.
I suppose some are expecting my head to pop off and roll around. It might. But, I have been ruminating and reflecting on this day for some time. I know what is to happen and while my heart breaks inside, it also celebrates the highest institution ever devised between two people. I am not sad. I am overwhelmed with the emotion of years of cultivating a little flower plant given to my wife and I almost 27 years ago – a child, a little girl. (We, who were told before we were married that we should never expect to have children, have been blessed with three.)
Now, it is time to see her off on her own journey of love and devotion, tears and laughter… Into this sanctifying event is rolled up a picture of the ultimate marriage.
I reflect upon the inspired letter of Paul to the Ephesians. In the fifth chapter, the Apostle draws a parallel between the relationship of Christ and the Church to that of a husband and a wife.
In the current political climate, it is sad that a discussion of marriage has to be qualified. But, let it be known that God only recognizes marriage as being between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman who both have a right to be joined in matrimony.
Yes, this is not a new problem. It was there in New Testament times as well. And part of Paul’s message was a calling back to those times where those individuals at Ephesus had come out of a sinful life and had become married to Christ.
Often the passage from Eph. 5:22-31 is used to teach about marriage, and well it should. But, that is not the only emphasis of the passage. Perhaps it is not the main emphasis.
There is the message of the Bridegroom and how He is Head of the Church, and how the church (the Bride) is to be subject to Christ. The action of the husband is one of sacrifice, nourishment, and cherishing. The application from this is that all other marriages should be pictures of Christ’s love for the Church and the Church as honoring Christ, which ultimately glorifies the Father.
And, while I think that I know well what this beautiful, God-ordained institution means, I can only see a glimpse of its glory. Yes, I may be unable to hold back the tears tomorrow. But, I am not sad. My daughter is now to be loved and to love in a way that exemplifies the Church.