“He who has the bride is the bridegroom” (John 3:29).
How does a bride-to-be act?
Knowing several engaged women, let me summarize a few “bride-to-be” thoughts and behaviors.
First and foremost, a bride-to-be has accepted her groom’s proposal. She daydreams about her husband-to-be and longs for their life together. Without question, she remains faithful to her fiancé, rejecting all other potential suiters. She talks with him often and shares her heart fully with him. When around other people, she gushes about her beloved. She sends him cards and love letters—and cherishes the gifts and love letters she receives from him. Sometimes she places those love letters under her pillow, falling asleep smelling the cologne from the loving hands that wrote them. There’s an excited expectancy about the next time they will see each other. She fixes herself up to appear as attractive as possible for her beloved. Thoughts of him consume her mind, heart, actions, and schedules. She has promised herself to him and longs for their complete intimacy.
The Bride of Christ
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband [Jesus]” (Revelation 21:2).
When we think about the Bride of Christ, what comes to mind?
In Ephesians 5:22-27, the apostle Paul associates the relationship between a husband and wife as that glorious relationship between Jesus Christ and His true followers, the Church. He clarifies this in Ephesians 5:32: “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” This means that a true follower of Christ is part of that mysterious Bride-to-be.
So how does a Christ follower, that true Bride-to-be, act?
A true Christ follower has accepted His proposal / invitation to become part of the Bride of Christ. This is salvation. Without this, there is no bride, no wedding. A true Christ follower does not have to be convinced or persuaded to love Jesus. There are no secrets, no half-hearted passion, no noncommittal planning. A genuine member of Christ’s true Church prepares him or herself and expectantly awaits His return. A true Bride-to-be holds tightly to the Bride price of the cross. He or she is mesmerized by the glittering engagement ring of His Word. A genuine Bride-to-be envelops him or herself with the dowry of His Holy Spirit. A true Christ follower does everything to please Jesus, the Groom.
A true Bride-to-be doesn’t have a dating profile with the world nor is he or she distracted by the things of this world. An engaged Bride-to-be has made the choice final—decisively and passionately. A “Yes” for Jesus is a turning away from all else. A true Christ follower does everything possible to keep the wedding garment spotless. He or she lives every day in expectancy of the Groom’s embrace. A true Christ follower looks forward to the day when Jesus presents His Bride to His Father.
What is the ultimate goal for the Bride of Christ?
Jesus Christ, the Bridegroom, gave His life for His Bride to “sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:26-27). As true Christ followers earnestly await the return of the Groom, they diligently surrender to being conformed into the image, resemblance, and likeness of Jesus (Romans 8:29). They long for a deeper intimacy with Him. They desire to become like Him, compatible with Him, because they will “be like Him” when they finally see Him face to face (1 John 3:2).
If you have not yet accepted Jesus’ proposal (Revelation 3:20), I pray that you will.
If you have accepted His proposal, be faithful to Him. Protect your sphere of holiness and keep your wedding garments as spotless as you can. Surrender to the Holy Spirit’s transformation as He conforms you into Christlikeness. May your heart flutter faster at the thought of our Groom’s soon return.