Remembering The Bridegroom
“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
I have put this in the marriage section because although I want this to be about Christ, it can also help with our relationships with each other.
When I was dating my husband, I found many things to love about him. His quiet and gentle ways, his shyness, his hair (yes, I loved his hair!), how cute he was, etc. I looked forward to seeing him every day, to talking with him on the phone, to going places with him. The more time I spent with him, the more my heart became filled with love for him and in a short time I really couldn’t imagine my life without him. Once we got married, it was the same but as time goes on, we have our ups and downs and we both began to see the not so great sides of each other, yet we still can’t imagine our lives without each other. Once married, I saw more of his strengths like how no matter what was happening, he had a good outlook on problems and situations and knew that things would resolve itself while I worried incessantly about things. He was very responsible and always took good care of our family. We never went without the basic necessities of life. I felt safe and secure with him. If we traveled I never had to worry because he was good with map reading (thanks to the military!) and finding a way back to where we needed to be if we did get lost. He always supported me no matter what I wanted to do and was there as a shoulder to cry on, even if I was wrong. Although we’ve had our ups and downs, I still see this in him today, only God has added a few more things to him in our healing process like a sense of humor. I always had it and he was the one who would just chuckle or not act goofy like his wife, but now we act goofy together! We actually talk more instead of me talking and him listening especially when there are problems to confront (something God had to fix in me). He is also very talkative now and I’m the more quiet one and yes, it seems to come out when we go to bed (maybe payback for all the years I talked his ear of when he wanted to sleep!).
Sometimes along the way in marriage or a relationship, we tend to forget the good parts of people when problems arise and only focus on the bad. The more we allow the bad to come into view the more people will “fall out of love (or like)” with each other. I’ve encountered this with the women I counsel. Either they have fallen out of love with their husbands or their husband has fallen out of love with them. So when I speak with someone who has fallen out of love with their spouse, I raise the same question…”what made you fall in love him/her in the first place?”. This is a question we must also ask ourselves when the embers seem to grow dim when it comes to our love for Christ. What made us fall in love with Christ to begin with?
There are many things that can cause our embers to grow dim and the fire to go down in both our relationships with each other and with Christ. Things such as problems, hurt feelings, anger, lack of trust, etc. In our relationships with other people, the more we get close to them the more we see the other side of them which isn’t always a great side. Were there not so great sides to my husband? Sure, just as there were not so great sides to myself. Did we wish we could change the other? Yep. Did we become frustrated with each other? On many occasions. But we dug in our heels and stuck it out. If there is nothing bad about Christ, then how can our love grow dim for Him when in reality it should grow even stronger? Sometimes it’s the problems and difficulties that arise in our lives, failed relationships, grief of a loved one, things we don’t get that we prayed for, anger at others or distraction away from Christ and spending time with Him, a lack of reading the Bible and praying. These things have a way of separating us from Christ which can cause us to be tossed further into the world and further from Him. Coldness can settle in and although we still love Christ, we can tend to fall out of love with Him because we aren’t spending time with Him. If you have a spouse who you love madly but over time, distractions pull you away from him/her and then maybe you aren’t seeing as much of each other or talking as much as you use to due to your jobs and are just co-existing with each other, eventually that wonderful love you had for each other will grow colder and colder. You love them but the strong attraction and love you once had for them slowly, over time, becomes less and less because you stopped communicating, spending time with each other and you stopped looking at each others good points. When this happens, we only begin to see the bad qualities and not the good. Christ does not have any bad qualities, but maybe we’ve allowed other things to come before Him so we stop seeing all His good qualities and snatch on to things that can give us a quick moment of pleasure. We can do this in our every day relationships.
If you are married or in a relationship where the embers have gone down and the love for that person has grown a bit colder, I challenge you to write down the good things that brought you together. What was it about your spouse, relative, boyfriend/girlfriend, or friend that made you love them to begin with? What was it about Christ that drew you to Him? People change, but Christ doesn’t. Maybe that person has changed due to situations and problems, just like you. We tend to look at others, but we never really look at ourselves. Just as situations and problems can change us, it can change others as well, but that doesn’t have to be the end of the story. Sometimes it takes one person to change a situation and it starts with love and a renewing of the mind. Sometimes the enemy likes to throw in the disappointing and discouraging aspects of a person to sever our ties with them, on top of troublesome situations. Instead of working together, we end up fighting against each other. God calls us to work together in unity yet it’s the enemy who is always pushing for division and separation.
Here are some questions you should be asking yourself to see where you are:
1. Where your heart was on fire for Christ at one time, is it now just slightly heated embers?
2. Are you putting dry wood on the fire or wet wood?
3. What are you feeding yourself, good spiritual nutrition or wet, worldly junk?
4. Has life become such a distraction for you that it has taken up the time you use to spend with Christ?
5. Are you looking at Christ and others through a dirty lens?
Many times it’s merely distraction and busyness that moves us away from those we love, especially Christ. When this happens, we must recognize it and do what we can to fix it. Many times we must call out to God to help us. Think about what drew you to Christ and write it down. The more you bring out the good, the more you will see it and recognize it, and the more it will light the fire in your heart for Him. I could list all the things from scripture regarding who Christ is and what He does, but I need to personalize it to me, so here is what drew me to Christ and it’s also the reasons I don’t want to lose Him!:
1. Support – There was a long period of time where Christ was my ONLY support system that I had. He never left my side, never put me down or called me names, and never yelled at me or belittled me when I did something wrong. He also was there when others were too busy or preoccupied to listen. He only encouraged me and corrected me when I needed it.
2. Counselor – There were many times I didn’t have anyone to talk to but Christ was there to listen. He always had time for me and never turned me away. He wasn’t just there from 9:00am – 5:00pm, He was available 24/7. If I asked for an answer, He provided it. If not at that moment, soon after. He let me know when I was right and when I was wrong.
3. Comforter – He comforted me at my lowest moments and at my most fearful times. His words were soothing and He never left me alone.
4. Healer – in my most sickest moments be it physical or spiritual, He brought healing to me – body, mind, soul and spirit. He provided me medication through His Word and strengthened my weary body and mind as well as my spirit.
5. Justice – Whenever I went to Him and asked for justice, He gave me justice. He fixed the problem, removed the block and made sure the right thing was done. Sometimes it took time, but in that He taught me patience and trust in Him. Were there times I may have been wrong? Yes, and He would let me know it.
6. Provider – Christ is a wonderful provider. He never let me go without. I always had my basic necessities and then some. I may not have always had fun money or have been able to go on vacations like everyone else at times, but I never went without and I always had His love. I learned that the finer things in life wasn’t material things, but what came from the heart. If it was a walk with my husband by the water, then I learned to appreciate that time we had together (though I had to work a little harder on that when he wanted to go walking in the dead of winter by the water!). Sometimes we lose perspective of what the “finer” things in life really are. We think it’s expensive restaurants, grand vacations, a big house, a luxurious car, fame and fortune. But all of those things are temporary and only feed the fix for a moment. The real “finer” things are time and love; time spent with family and those you love. Time helping others in need over doing what you want to do. Time spent with Christ being nourished, receiving a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that will sustain you in all times of life. Love that you can pass on to others, making a difference in their lives. Love given to God because He first loved you and chose you especially when no one else would give you the time of day. Love that will give you warmth in a cold world.
Christ never left my side throughout my healing process, when I was at my ugliest times and when I needed someone there. Were there times where He may have been silent? Yes, because He had to see if I knew what to do with the information He was giving me through His Word. That can happen even when we are being trained for a job…the moment where we have to go it alone to see if we know what to do yet in reality we are never really alone as in the most difficult times, our employer will be there for guidance. Christ is always there for guidance.
When we begin listing the wonderful sides of Christ and others, this is when Christ will do a major change upon our hearts. The embers will begin to warm and ignite and the fire will begin raging again. It just takes us responding to the call. It just takes us remembering the good things so they are pulled forth and the negative things in our life are pushed back and soon forgotten. However, the enemy will try to sabotage our efforts by throwing even more junk at us, but we must be determined to remain on track and continue with our list! Soon, it will be no effort at all and we will feel that warmth of love from within.
“As a young man marries a young woman, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” (Isaiah 62:5)
Christ has not forgotten us, we have forgotten Him. We’ve allowed so many things to come between us and Him that we have forgotten what it was like to be with our first love. We sometimes think the love has gone when in reality we have just allowed the embers to cool and the negative aspects of life move in, pushing Christ (or a loved one) out. What’s the new saying we are seeing and hearing? “The grass isn’t greener on the other side, you’ve just forgotten to water your side“. It’s time to water our side!
Sometimes, we can persevere through many things, can continue doing the work of the Lord and remain faithful to Him, but when we have gone through battle after battle, we can become numb and just continue on with the motions while the love has died down and sometimes slipped away. In Revelations 2:1-5, Christ has an issue with the church of Ephesus…they have forgotten their first love:
“These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.”
You see, it isn’t enough to just do the work; the love has to come with it. If there is no love, there is nothing. Love is the foundation and God is love. But sometimes we become so battle weary, we hang on out of loyalty but neglect to re-ignite the love or keep the fire burning. To do this we must spend time with Christ (or a loved one), continue learning about Him (them) and receive the love from Him (them). If we are cold and want to get warm, we go where the heat is and for us that heat source is Christ.
Have you forgotten the bridegroom, your first love, your savior? Has busyness moved in forcing your time with Christ out? Has distraction and problems filled your vision, not allowing you to see the light of Christ? If so, then now is the time to make the time to be with Christ and repent for drifting away. Pray for Christ to heat the embers in your heart for Him and to re-ignite the flame. Time is getting shorter and no one knows how much more time we may have to seek Him. Now is the time…don’t let it slip through your fingers! No matter what the problem or situation is, go now and repent and ask Christ to come back into your life and burn within your heart once again…He’s waiting! Praising God will start the process. Praise His name every day, thanking Him for all he’s done and is continuing to do. The more you praise, the more the fire will ignite and burn hot.
Lord, thank you for choosing me. You were my first love at one time and I want you to continue being my first love, but I have allowed other things to take your place and I repent of this. Forgive me Lord for not keeping you first. Change me, oh God, and heat up the embers within my heart for you until the flames are raging once again. I want my love for you to burn hot for the rest of my life so I can stay warm in this cold world. I want to be able to warm others as well so their love for you will ignite. Lord, I wait anxiously for this to begin. Start today! I do not want anymore time to lapse! I need you now Lord and I love you with all of my heart. I pray this in the mighty name of Jesus…Amen!