I really want to walk down the aisle in my own strength.
No, not physically – although I hope to do that too!
I mean that I want to walk into the church on our wedding day ready to be a great wife: loving, faithful, kind, wise, etc. I want to be walking with God with perfect faith, obedience and maturity. I want to say my marriage vows without a shred of doubt that I can keep them perfectly. . .
(I’m sure that most of you are already laughing at my idealism!)
Unsurprisingly when I look at my selfish sinful heart I don’t feel very confident. I am aware of many areas of sin, faithlessness, and failure which will now affect another person! Left to myself I don’t feel sure that I can always love Tim “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health”, even though I desperately want to.
So as I walk down the aisle to marry the man of my dreams, it is vital that I walk upon the beautiful and secure foundation that the Bible gives us.
A Walk of Joy-filled Faith
As I mentioned in a previous post, marriage is actually a metaphor for something greater. It models Jesus Christ’s eternally loving and faithful marriage to his church (all those who love and follow him).
A key symbol in both is the white clothing that the bride wears. We know that white symbolises purity and innocence, and many brides feel that the outward symbolism may not match the reality! But the beautiful and freeing difference about the biblical picture is that the bride is given her white clothing to wear by her groom Jesus Christ – because he has purchased it for her at the cost of his own life! (See Ephesians 5:25-27, Isaiah 61:10, and Revelation 7:9-10)
The church may be unworthy, and full of sinful failure, but Jesus, her loving groom clothes her with beautiful robes that are perfect and white, and she is utterly radiant.
How does this biblical picture help me as I prepare to walk down the aisle in a few weeks time?
- I walk humbly. My own goodness is not enough. I need Jesus to clothe me and equip me to keep the sacred marriage promises which point to his eternal promises to us.
- I walk confidently. Because my confidence is in God’s character and deeds, and not my own. He is faithful, good, and loving. My white clothing ultimately point to his perfection.
- I walk steadfastly. Jesus never leaves or forsakes his bride the church, and his love for her is unfailing despite her many failures. His faithfulness and love enables ours.
- I walk joyfully, rejoicing in the white that I wear and everything it symbolises, and full of thanks for the gift of marriage with this man whom God has entrusted to me. Our joy is increased in the knowledge that this earthly marriage bears witness (however insufficiently) to the perfect future marriage of Christ and his church.