Here Comes the Bride!
It was a perfect day! Cloudless sky. Gentle breeze. And the chapel was beautiful. Every heart rejoiced as the bride entered. Stunning and smiling, she made her way down the aisle, her eyes fixed on the groom. He gazed lovingly at her, eyes spilling over with tears of joy. And then it happened… On Saturday, May 21, staff intern Erin Holle and summer staffer Jon Finke were married in Camp Lebanon’s brand new Eagle’s Nest Pavilion. And what a glorious day! The two met while on summer staff and a friendship sparked. As the relationship grew and their loved deepened, the two prepared to make their lives one. Patient waiting accompanied eager anticipation.
Over the past couple of years, Erin and Jon learned a lot about each other and had already “made room” in their hearts, lives, priorities, decisions, and future for the other. They would even say they “knew” each other. And then the adventure called “marriage” began. In the years ahead, Mr. & Mrs. Finke will discover that, through both joys and sorrows, getting to truly know each other will come only through the life-long process of unearthing the deep layers of the richest of all human relationships.
All humans long to be known and loved. Women especially desire a rib to rib, heart to heart, “we’re on the same page” kind of closeness and intimacy in our marriage relationships. So why does it seem so hard to find that oneness once the wedding bells quit ringing?
Seeking to identify the single most important quality of a happy marriage, many ideas have been offered: faithfulness, trust, humor, forgiveness, intimacy, hot attraction, and compatibility. In his book What Did You Expect? Paul David Tripp suggests an unexpected answer as the most significant factor for a satisfying, joy-filled marriage: WORSHIP.
What, or better, whom we worship, Tripp contends, determines the rest of our responses, priorities, commitments, sacrifices, and yearnings. Either God is on the throne or we are. So, as I, as an individual, move closer to God my King in my thoughts and ambitions, I find that I also move closer to my husband. And if he is doing the same, we cannot help but grow tighter in our love. That, in a nutshell, is God’s good design for complementary union and oneness in marriage.
So here’s the bottom line for us. Worshipping God absolutely affects how we love and live out the “daily” of our marriage relationship. Faithfulness, mutual submission, trust, kindness, forgiveness, joy, satisfying sexual expression, oneness – all are the fruitful results and blessings of a choice to rightfully honor God.
What, then, does it mean to worship? Worshipping God is a lifetime journey of learning to know Him. Both factually and experientially, we get to know His character, His wishes, and more, His unfailing love towards us. Worshipping God also brings a yielding to His perfect authority and sovereignty, while recognizing our unattainable righteousness even as we embrace His unmerited grace. How can we not trust such an awesome God! This, then, is the “secret” to a totally satisfying marriage: Our longings and expectations, for marriage and all of life, start with seeking the Lord’s design and expectations.
Our perfect wedding day is coming! On that glorious day, the pure bride of Christ, His Church, will enter the sanctuary of heaven. Every eye in heaven will fix its gaze on the beautiful bride for whom Jesus gave His life. And on that day, we will fully know and understand completely. Until then, may we seek to love “for the Lord’s sake,” to know Him and to live our lives in the expectancy of the fullness still to come. As daily we draw closer to our Lord and so to each other, may our marriages be a picture to the world of that promised sweet joy!
NOTE: As a ministry facility, Camp Lebanon is not in the “wedding business” and does not make facilities available to the general public for wedding ceremonies. We are, however, dedicated to helping encourage joy-filled, God-glorifying marriages and family relationships through the living truth found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.