I have to be honest, I don’t want to get married. I know this is shocking for a Christian girl my age, but it is true. Whenever I tell people this they just laugh and shake their heads and promise me that I will change my mind in the future. Maybe they’re right, I don’t know. I can’t see the future. But as for now, marriage is like a taboo word for me. I am afraid of it for a couple of reasons.
First, marriage means nothing in society anymore. It can be terminated at any time. Or, people can just live together and pretty much have the commitment of marriage without the paper or pastor or whatever. It’s basically a joke today.
Marriage is serving the other person. To truly love someone, you have to say, “What can I do to better love you? How can I be good for your sake and not my own?” What if I am not a good servant? I’m far too selfish to even begin to think of that kind of humility and love toward someone.
I am afraid of it because it is complete, raw vulnerability. I don’t like that someone will be with me 24/7, and they will see all of my flaws, strengths, weaknesses, annoying habits, weird ticks, and emotions. I don’t like that I would have to share my heart completely with someone else. If I reserve my heart, it doesn’t get broken. If I remain closed, I don’t get hurt. And these things cannot be one way in a marriage. I cannot be completely open and vulnerable if my partner is not doing the same thing. We are entering an agreement that says, “I am wholly yours. Forever.”
But Christ calls the Church His bride. What incredible imagery that is! When you think of the commitment and complete vulnerability that entails, that is a crazy thing for Him to say. The God of the universe, the perfect, spotless, holy Lamb, calling this dirty, imperfect, unfaithful Church His lovely, pure bride? That is beyond my imagination.
He is saying to the Church with that statement, “I am committed to you. I will share my whole heart with you and hide nothing from you, but you must do the same for me. This is two way. I accept you for who you are, flaws and all. I will love and serve you. Be my bride.”
And if Christ has called us His bride, He means for us to be His bride forever. There is no divorce here or cheap, artificial representations of a marriage. This is a real and serious wedding that is solidified in eternity. Earthly marriages are meant to represent this reality of the union of the lovely, perfect, holy God and His beloved Church. We are to open ourselves and pour our lives out to our partners… forever. That is a beautiful and daunting thing. That is something I am not ready to even imagine. I am afraid that I cannot accurately reflect God’s marriage with the Church in my marriage with a man.
There are two marriages in life: Your marriage with God and your marriage on earth. Only one is eternal, though, and until I have committed myself to Him, I can never commit myself to a man. I am just in awe that the beautiful Lamb would marry a broken girl like me. Now, that’s something worth chasing after more than anything on earth.