I’ve been married since May of 2011. Of all the things I heard and imagined about marriage, I had no idea how much being married would teach me about a part of my identity and an aspect of my relationship with Christ which I lacked – being a bride.
While speaking to God about this subject, He revealed to me why His bride is so special to Him, the Bridegroom. It’s because a bride only becomes a bride after she receives the Grooms proposal, making a covenant with Him at the alter. Simply stated, it’s a choice which is made through our free will and His free will. God chose us with a proposal unlike no other, with the full laying down of His life. We in turn are given us the honour of choosing to become His bride.
I can speak for most men when I say, none of us grew up day dreaming about walking down the aisle in a Vera Wang wedding dress, center of attention and locking eyes with our Groom to be. Don’t get me wrong, most men desire to have a bride but the idea of becoming a bride is completely foreign to any man.
How many women here can honestly say that they dreamt about their wedding day, becoming a bride, walking down the aisle, gaze locked on the eyes of the man of your dreams? Some of you single women, can close your eye and feel your heart race with excitement.
By the end of tonight, my sincere heart’s desire is to lift off the vail on what it is to be a Bride of Christ and how if men are able to grasp and fully receive the beautiful proposal of our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, it would completely change church, life, relationships and possibly propel the Christian’s walk to the next level.
But first, before learning to become a bride, we need to understand the Grooms’ heart and the Father of the bride’s joy.
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 (Father of the bride) to himself (the Groom) as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (NIV)
If I ask, how many men here would be willing lay your life down for their bride?
Since being married, the laying down of one’s life has taken on a deeper revelation. Obviously, if called upon I would physically die for her to live. What I have learned is that allowing what the God’s definition is for a man to die, allows the identity that God has called the bride to become – to come to life.
Just as we were only able to become the bride of Christ after Christ willingly laid everything that defined him as a man and died for us.
It wasn’t just His death or resurrection that men should thank Jesus for, as brides should be thanking Him for the life He lived and for the way He died. Just about any man will lay their life down for their bride. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very noble but how many men will lay down their “life”, their job, career, friends, social status and reputation all down for what God wants to awaken and bring to life in her?
As with every Groom, Jesus’ walked down the aisle before the bride. This aisle is called persecution, rejection, emotional beatings, crucifixion and death.
Jesus, 100% human demonstrated how a Groom is supposed to lay down their life. Laying down all that made Him man to release heaven to all who receive Him as saviour and as their Bridegroom. In Christ’s proposal, death was the easy part.
Christ came to set the world free from strong holds, one of the worst is the world’s definition of a man.
We should only measure our self to the only perfect man to have ever existed Jesus Christ. Measuring our self to any man other than Christ, means we’re measuring our self to someone who has already fallen short. (Romans 3:22-24)
I have heard so many Christian men wholeheartedly believe that men should “Lord” over women, especially when their married. They pervert Ephesians 5:22-24 for their own selfish desires and believe it’s God’s will for them to rule over women.
Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord (on 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 Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
“I have never seen a woman have trouble submitting to a man who loves her well.” – Bill Johnson
Now change “woman” to “bride” and “man” to “groom”.
I have learned through speaking with God that the word “bride” can and should be inserted in place of scripture speaking of “wives”.
Beloved, we are the Bride of Christ.
Don’t miss understand me.
Yes, men called to be head of the wife. Yes, women are directed to submit to men as they do the Lord. After all, the bible repeats these commands in 1 Corinthians 11:3.
1 Corinthians 11:3
But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
Jesus Christ is standing at the alter, awaiting His kingdom minded bride to walk up the aisle and reign with Him. Not a mindless, passionless slave.
Men assume they understand what the bible is stating instead of mirroring the life and actions of the ultimate Bridegroom, Jesus.
Using His position, authority, strength, love 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 5:25-27)
Before marriage, while ministering to singles and married couples. I heard how singles would ask for praying, asking God to bring their “help mate”, “husband” or “wife”. I heard time and time again their laundry list of what they required God to provide… Perfection. I heard the married complain how the mate they have weren’t what they asked for and how they desired for God to move on their behalf, changing their mate to become the “help mate”, “husband” or “wife” they truly desired.
When in both instances, their prayer should have been: God prepare us for them, work through us WITH LOVE to help our mate attain the relationship with Christ they needed.
Preparing the singles to meet their mate and teach the married to lay their lives down.
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”
As a bride preparing herself for her wedding day, it’s time for the church and for the men to start the preparation because our Bridegroom is ready and He’s waiting for us at the Alter.
Men – Bride of Christ – it’s time to stand up and say, “Lord, teach and prepare us to be your bride. Show me how to be head, leader and husband.”
God is about to show off His bride, adorning her with a move of love, authority and power.
Father Lord, thank You for washing us clean with Your word, preparing us to be presented to Your Son, our Bridegroom. Thank You for removing our stains, wrinkles and blemishes – making us holy and blameless.
Today, we say “Yes” to the beautiful proposal of Your Son and “I do” to our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ. In Jesus name. Amen