Dear Young Engaged Man,
When the time comes for you to stand before your bride and say your vows, a mix of emotions will flood your soul. The exchange of vows is a weighty thrill. You are thrilled by your deep love for her and the weight of your promise is sobering. The line in your vows that perhaps carries the most weight is “Till death do us part.” Not many couples realize the significance of this short phrase.
If you say this phrase, you will be committing to never leave nor forsake your bride until the day you breathe your last. You will be committing to be a one woman man until you behold Jesus face to face.
Be warned. The promise is not “Till adultery do us part.” Nor is it “Till abandonment do us part.”
I am convinced that the Bible teaches believers should not divorce under any circumstances. We can discuss that later if you like, but even if you disagree, I plead with you to discard any “parachute cord” from your marriage. Remove from your mind all reasons for divorce and live as Christ does with his bride. Irrevocably committed.
Christ will never leave nor forsake his bride, even when we commit adultery against him. Christ will never abandon his wife, even when we abandon our first love. The vows are weighty and before a holy God. Our “yes” must be “yes” and our “no” be “no”. Heath Lambert helped me realize the seriousness of the wedding vows. He has pointed out that if you are going to hold to legitimate exceptions for divorce in your marriage, then you must include them in your vows or completely leave off the phrase “Till death do us part.” You can’t have your exception and eat it too.
Ephesians chapter five calls us to love our wife as Jesus loves us. Make a fundamental commitment to never separate what God joins together. (Mark 10:9) God calls you to be a Hosea even if you marry a Gomer.
I am praying for you as you prepare for the weighty thrill of covenanting together with your bride. May your marriage oaths be true until either you or the heavens and earth pass away.
Here is my guess: she struggles with insecurity about her physical beauty and you struggle with dwelling too much on her physical beauty. She doesn’t think her outward appearance is enough and you have thought about it enough.
How do you help her realize she has value and how do you balance out your thoughts to think purely?
- Remind her that she is beautiful because she is made in the image of God.
Before brushing over this, we must let this reality sink in. God does not make trash. If you scoff at his art, you insult him. This truth is not just a nice saying to make unattractive people feel better about themselves. God says he created man in his image and this reality is not to become trite in our minds. There is a real, holy, stunning level in which your fiancee is unwaveringly beautiful because she reflects God. Even if she is marred by third degree burns or ransacked by acne, this reality does not move. Every day her image pours forth speech of the handiwork of God. Christ has made a personal claim regarding the incredible crafting of his creation.
- Remind yourself of the hidden image of God made possible in Christ.
It is good to tell your fiancee that she is pretty, but do not miss out on the thrill of praising her hidden person. Physical appearance is fleeting but there is an imperishable beauty that only gets better. If she is growing in faith, fearlessness, gentleness, holy submission, and compassion, make it a point to praise these ornaments. The fruit of the Spirit has a sweetness that will never sour. Dwell on her godly character and attach your heart to it! Ask the Lord to give you eyes to behold true beauty. Beg him to give you grace to truly appreciate the grace he has given her. Make it top priority to value, treasure, and be drawn to her godly character. Her inner heart is a gorgeous glimpse of God.
Outward beauty is wonderfully fleeting. As she gets older, every wrinkle will help accent the eternal radiance found in her heart. And the best kept secret is, the more you cultivate an attraction for her godly character, it is likely the more fruit she will produce. Do not miss out on enjoying the realities that will never perish.
Remember, remind her that she is made in the image of God and then encourage her to continue looking more like Christ in godly character.
Look hard and love her invisible pearls. They are formed perfectly by the oyster of the gospel.