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Oh, How He Loves Us! | The Marriage Metaphor

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"Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless." –Ephesians 5:22-27

"Jesus Christ is the focal point of history and the reference point for all our obedience. Husbands find in Christ a model for sacrificial, loving, strong, tender headship. Wives find the church's submission to Christ a model for intelligent, gracious, trusting, respectful submission...these roles are meant to be an expression of the unchanging gospel dynamics of Christ's relationship to the church and the church's relationship to him," (Gospel Transformation Bible).

Marriage is a union, a joining, two become one, cleaved together, a promise, a covenant, a bond, representational of Christ and the church; a living, breathing, dynamic reflection of the grace extended to us mercifully via spilled blood, nailed to the cross, a debt cancelled. Marriage "...approximates the pattern of God's self-giving love in Christ," (Tim Keller, The Meaning of Marriage).

Marriage allows for experiential expressions –forgiveness; we choose to cover our spouse's sin with forgiveness as Jesus covered ours and love; we are loved first by God so we can love (1 John 4:19). Marriage provides a look at the work of the Holy Spirit as couples move through life seasons –changing, growing, honing selflessness, blooming friendship, maturing spiritually, deepening their love for the Lord –in unified oneness, promise keepers glorifying God together.The marriage metaphor allows us to fully appreciate the enormity of God's love, mercy, and grace. 

The following article by Catherine Parks offers a scriptural look at weddings:

If someone asked you what the Bible says about weddings, what would you say? The truth is, at first glance there's not much there. But when I was writing "A Christ-Centered Wedding" (co-written with my mom, Linda Strode), I researched ancient Jewish wedding customs. I wanted to understand why weddings today are the way they are, and what they were like in biblical times. So I did some digging around, and I was amazed by what I found.

When we read the Bible, we do not actually see many obvious references to weddings. We know God brought Eve to Adam and she was called his wife. We see various mentions of "bride" and "bridegroom" and understand the bride would wait for her groom to come for her. We see a great feast in John 2 at the wedding at Cana, and Jesus refers to weddings in some of His parables.

But we are never given a full picture of what a wedding might look like.

The Wedding Metaphor

Because we lack the understanding of an ancient Jewish audience, we miss out on some beautiful aspects of the wedding metaphor in the New Testament. In various places in the Old Testament, Israel is referred to as God's bride. But in the New Testament, we see a fuller picture of this as the Church (those who trust Christ for salvation) is seen as the bride of Christ. But it's not just in obvious references, such as Revelation 19. We also see reflections of wedding imagery in the New Testament in these ways:

God Chose the Bride
In biblical times the groom's father chose a bride for his son. Similarly, God chose a bride for His Son and a people for His own possession (Eph. 1:3–5).

The Bride Price
The groom's father would pay a "bride price" to, in essence, buy a bride for his son. The bride of Christ was "bought with a price"—the price of our Bridegroom's life (1 Cor. 6:20, Acts 20:28).

Betrothal
The betrothal was a binding agreement—in essence, a marriage not yet consummated. Christians are betrothed to Christ, as Paul writes to the Corinthians (2 Cor. 11:2).

Preparations
The groom would return to his father's home in order to build an addition in which his bride and he would live. Jesus told His disciples He was going to His Father's house to prepare a place for them, and us! (John 14:2).

The Groom Returns
The groom waited for the day when his father would approve his preparations and give him permission to go and take his bride home for the wedding feast. Jesus said He will come again and take us to Himself, to be with Him in the place He has prepared for us (John 14:3).

Also, just as the groom didn't know when the father would allow him to return for his bride, only the Father knows the day and the hour when Christ will return for us (Matt. 24:36; Matt. 25:1–13).

The Wedding Feast
The wedding feast was the culmination of a long waiting period. The bride and groom finally came together in a time of celebration and consummation. The feast itself would last for up to seven days as family and friends joined in the revelry, celebrating the union (John 2:1–11).

Please read on here: Do You Know What the Bible Says About Weddings? | True Woman