Comedian Jerry Lewis remarked that his greatest wedding present was a home movie of the ceremony. “When things get tough in the marriage,” he said, “I run the movie backwards and walk out a free man!”
It’s true that all marriages face challenges, despite the idealism of the dating years. In those years we may overlook the faults of our soon-to-be spouse, or convince ourselves that our partnership is too strong ever to be challenged by bad behavior. But, as someone noted, moonlight and roses can turn into daylight and diapers. Challenges are inevitable and can range from minor irritations to major roadblocks.
It’s possible that the knight in shining armor who sweeps the young maiden off her feet can, after the passage of time, reveal chinks in his coat of armor.
A lady with a broken heart told me about her husband. He worked hard every week, she said, but he bought a case of beer and rented video games and drank and played every weekend, ignoring her and the children. I daresay if he’d done this before the wedding, the wedding would never have taken place.
And the genteel Southern lady can fall off her pedestal.
I talked with a man who was royally chewed out on the job—an altercation I sadly witnessed.
“He was just scolding me,” he said. “I’m used to it because I get scolded at home every day.”
I daresay if he’d been scolded every day during their courtship, the wedding would never have taken place.
The Apostle Paul used wedding analogy when he called the church the bride of Christ. Christ, the bridegroom, is faithful and true. As the gospel song says, “Jesus Never Fails.”
But we, the bride, aren’t always true.
The default position is that we should walk in faithfulness, but often we fall into unfaithfulness. How easy it is for Christ’s bride, the church, to lose her zeal. That’s why the risen Christ in Revelation exhorted the church in Ephesus, where members had grown cold in their faith, to repent and “do the first works” (Revelation 3: 4-5). In other words, go back and do what you did before in those days when you committed to love the Lord with your whole heart, those days filled with the joy of a new relationship with Christ.
Paul’s favorite expression for the church is “in Christ,” and he used this phrase some 150 times in the New Testament. This phrase speaks of our ultimate calling; namely, to seek him, to have relationship with him and to follow him into a broken world that needs compassionate ministry.
The church is the bride of Christ. We must remain faithful to our faithful bridegroom.
“Reflections” is a weekly faith column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church in Alabaster. The church’s website is siluriabaptist.com.