I LOVE LOVE LOVE how God designed marriage to be a small-scale representation of the profound mystery of Christ and His church. One of my favorite classes we took about 2 years ago was about the tabernacle in the Old Testament – how God lived with His people, His bride.
He led them. He fed them. He provided for them. He protected them from harm. He shared His wisdom with them. He desired a deep, intimate spiritual relationship with them. But they had to do it on His terms, not their own – with reverence and respect for His holiness and obedience to His Word. Of course, husbands are not deity – they are imperfect humans.
But God’s purpose in marriage is for the husband to represent Christ’s servant leadership and selfless, sacrificial love and for the wife to represent the respect, adoration and submission of the church to Christ (Ephesians 5:22-33). I LOVE learning about how everything in the tabernacle pointed to Christ and His relationship with us. (I may have to share some of those posts sometime.)
God created marriage for many reasons, but what we experience in marriage, the hardships and the joys point us to Christ and teach us to understand the mysteries of His love for us in ways we just may not fully understand apart from marriage.
This is an email from a wife. She explains this so well – I can’t wait to share! God definitely revealed this message to me earlier in my journey – and this is a message that God intends to communicate to you through your marriage, as well. It is a profound truth. Be prayerful and open your heart to what God wants to speak to you in this moment! A HUGE THANK YOU to the wife who allowed me to share her story and her intimate conversation with our amazing God.
I take the kids to school and head to my appointment… still kind of stewing over (a situation that morning with my husband). Then I start feeling sorry for myself because he thinks of self so much and I am aggravated that he hasn’t put the (stuff) up I asked him to put up and I am upset because I have asked him to do other things he has not done…. and I have been telling him that I want to go on a date and that I want to go away and it hasn’t happened! I convince myself he does not want to be alone with me and am really making myself sad and reflecting on how he must not place the importance on being with me that I do with him. I am really having a nice pity party…. and then God crashed it.
As I am praying, in a waiting room, this is what I am internally telling God….”God, you know I love him and I want to be with him. I want him to want to be with ME. I want him to spend time with me not because he has to or to make me happy but because he wants to be alone with me and treasures his time with me.”
And this is God’s reply… “I want you to want to be with ME.”
Me to God: “God, I do spend time with you. I do my best to read my bible every day and pray.”
God to me: “I want you to WANT to be with me. Not as something you need to do daily, something you WANT to do daily. Spend time with me because you want to be with Me. Enjoy your time with me… how you feel neglected when your husband doesn’t show excitement at being alone with you is how I feel when you don’t feel excitement in being alone with Me.”
And I got that. But I wasn’t quite ready to give in to God yet. Yes, I am stubborn.
Me to God. “It isn’t the same. I want to just be with my husband! To be in his arms! To enjoy holding his hand. Just the pleasure of time with him.”
God to me: “I can hold your hand. I can hold you in my arms.”
And I start to cry. In the waiting room while waiting for a test. It sinks in. God doesn’t want to be an obligation on my to do list. And he certainly doesn’t want to be my number 5 task of the day. He wants me to WANT to be with him. To look FORWARD to my time with him! Not to only be with him so that I can mark ‘do devotional’ off of my list for the day. To enjoy our relationship. What a moment and what a lesson. Like I have told my husband, “If I have to tell you what to say or do, it doesn’t count! I want you to want to say or do ____ because you want to, not because you have to.” God feels the same.
How I pray that You might speak to our hearts. Help us to understand the intimacy You long to share with us – how You long for us to be ONE SPIRIT with you. Help us to be willing to open our souls to you, to ask You to fill us, to enjoy Your holy presence, to repent of any sin that might grieve Your heart, and to be fully surrendered to You every day, savoring You. Let us praise You continually, and hunger for Your Word. Let our souls thirst for you as a deer pants for water. Let us put you squarely on the throne of our lives and exalt You alone. Let us tear down any desires we have been placing as a higher priority than the desire to know and love You. Let us seek Your face above all else. Let us seek Your will. Let us lay down our lives, our will and all that we have on the altar each day in total, joyful surrender to You. Give each of us a thriving, living, powerful, intimacy with You, Jesus! Let us live with you as our LORD, not just our Savior.
In the Name and power of Christ,