You may or may not have gathered, but I’m going to be getting married in a couple of months. Yeah, I’m freaking out! (In a good way, in an incredibly good but freaking-out kind of way. Marriage is kind of a big deal, you know.) With T-minus three months to go, we’re hitting bridal shower season. Bridal showers, as I was surprised to learn, are thrown by almost any and everyone you know! Family showers, friend showers, work showers – I have been stunned!
I want to write a few words about the sweet shower my future in-laws threw for me this past weekend. Not only were my fiance and I blessed with several lovely items on our registry, God sweetly reminded me of a beautiful truth.
Before the festivities, my mother-in-law to be asked one of her aunts to pray over me. You should know, I can be somewhat of a crier. Consider the pump primed. Her Aunt thanked God for the day, for the occasion of a wedding, and the fact that we are two young people who love the Lord. Then, her prayer went in an unexpected direction.
In her prayer, she said that because Ben (my fiance) loves me, their family was free to love me. Extending it, she said she was thankful that because God loved me, their family was able to freely love me – to embrace me as a sister. Remember those waterworks I warned you about? That’s about the time the floodgates opened. My emotions aside, do you see how beautifully profound her perspective is? If I weren’t marrying my Ben, I would have had no reason to have ever met these people. We live in different states, have different tastes and interests, go to different churches – nothing would have conceivably brought us all together. Apart from this upcoming wedding, we would have otherwise have been perfect strangers. Because my fiance loves me, and his family loves my fiance, they are happy to extend that warmth towards me.
Their approach towards love is a beautiful picture of how God extends love to us and, in turn, how we extend love towards each other. I’ve been digging into Ephesians lately. There, Paul writes about how Christians “who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (Ephesians 2:13) If you are a believer, your relationship with Jesus Christ enables you to love others more fully. Paul says it best, so I’ll let him continue:
For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (Ephesians 2:13-22 ESV)
Yes, my first bridal shower was tons of fun. Yes, my fiance and I received some lovely gifts that will make our new house more like home. Yes, I enjoyed getting to know my new family. But what I most enjoyed was knowing that, just as my future family loved and accepted me because of Ben’s love for me, my God loves and accepts me because of His love for His Son – Jesus Christ. Do you need a family? Come to Jesus, come to the family of God.