My nephew’s wedding was beautiful. He and his bride planned a meaningful and memorable ceremony demonstrating Christ’s love for us, His Bride, and His future return to take us Home with Him. As a result, those of us in attendance were encouraged to focus on Christ as our key relationship.
The bride and her bridesmaids carried lanterns instead of flowers, portraying the virgins in the parable Jesus told who were ready with oil in their lamps when the Bridegroom came. As my nephew’s bride came up the aisle, he met her midway and escorted her to the front of the church, just as Jesus will someday come for His Bride.
The rest of the ceremony unfolded with more symbolism and emphasis on Christ, His covenantal love for us, and His future return. It blessed me tremendously that they chose to honor Jesus in their wedding ceremony and acknowledge Him as the true center and focus of their lives.
Looking to Jesus as Our Key Relationship
The wedding stirred more thoughts I’ve been having recently about our human relationships and how we look to them, rather than to Jesus to give us validation and worth.
In reality, our true identity lies solely in our connection with God. This makes Him our key relationship in life. After all, He designed and created us. We are as His sons and daughters and co-heirs with Jesus. The Holy Spirit lives in us. And together we form Christ’s Body, Church, and Bride.
Far too often we look to human relationships to define and validate us. Doing so inevitably produces feelings of insecurity, fear, rejection, and inadequacy. It also tempts us to control and manipulate others to behave in ways that make us feel valued.
When we realize Who determines our true worth, our dependence on being connected to people diminishes. Note that our relationships with people shouldn’t diminish. But our assumed worth from being connected to them needs to be completely shifted to Jesus.
My nephew and his wife got this right with their wedding. Their value as individuals isn’t in the fact they are loved by the other, but rather that they are loved by Jesus. Their response in return is to offer themselves, individually and as a couple, to Him completely. Jesus is their key relationship, not each other.
Ephesians 5 paints a beautiful picture of marriage with instructions to both the husband and the wife. But at the end of this short treatise on marriage, Paul wrote, “but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
God designed marriage to reflect the covenant love relationship Jesus has with us. As individuals, we are already complete in Jesus. We don’t need a human, whether as a spouse or any other relationship, to complete us or give us value. Jesus already has.
Therefore, whether we are married or single, we reflect Jesus when we make Him our key relationship. Married couples reflect the covenant relationship between Jesus and His Bride. And singles reflect the all-sufficiency and completeness of a covenant relationship with Jesus.
“You are one in whom Christ dwells. Your glory is not in what you do, but in who you are.”James Bryan Smith