"And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For a husband is the head of his wife as Christ is the head of the church. He is the Savior of his body, the church. As the church submits to Christ, so you wives should submit to your husbands in everything.
For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church. He gave up his life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. In the same way, husbands ought to love their wives as they love their own bodies. For a man who loves his wife actually shows love for himself. No one hates his own body but feeds and cares for it, just as Christ cares for the church. And we are members of his body.
As the Scriptures say, 'A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one. So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."---Ephesians 5:22-33(NLT)
Being that some of my clients require that I do wedding-related work...
I tend to come across *a lot* of wedding/bridal images. And while all of them are quite beautiful and precious in their own right, every now and then, I will come across one that will literally stop me in my tracks.
This week, it was the one that you see up top...
I really like it when a picture tells a story and to me, this one speaks volumes.
1) I like that they don't look super traditional. He's in a suit and I peeped the tat on the her arm. (Do you, y'all. *Please do you!*)
2) I like that they found it important to connect before the ceremony *and* that they found an..innovative way for him to not see her but still be with her. As someone who tends to think pretty hard, I can't help but to notice some symbolism in that. Even when couples cannot physically see one another or be together, they can still connect and engage one another. Not only *can they* but *they should*.
3) Although I don't attend a lot of weddings and I certainly don't concede to being in them (it's serious; it means that you are not only in agreement but are going to do *everything within your power* to support the union, to help hold the groom and the bride accountable to their vows and to do what you can to help keep them together), at one of the ones that I was a part of, something that I appreciated happened at both the rehearsal as well as during the ceremony. The officiant requested that rather than he pray over the couple that the groom/husband-to-be pray over his wife. I recall the officiant saying "She's not *my* wife, she's yours and you need to be ever-prepared to cover her in prayer." Amen! And that's what this picture takes me back to. Here's a man who not only is ready to make vows to his beloved (Ecclesiastes 5:1-7) but he finds it important to cover her in prayer---even before the ceremony.
Yeah, that's what I'm talking about right there!
It reminds me of a few quotes that I recently read about men and prayer:
"There's power in a praying man. And even more power if he leads his woman in prayer as well."---Unknown
"A real man doesn't put his woman first. He puts God first. Only a man following Jesus knows how to properly lead a woman."---Unknown
"A praying man is as bold as lion. There is no demon in hell that will scare him."---David Wilkerson
Uh-huh, that last one? It might be inappropriate to some of you to hear me use "sexy" to describe it but sorry...*that's exactly what comes to mind*! There is something that is *very appealing* about a man who is not afraid of demons. A man who actually makes demons cower to him!
The more I spiritually grow and mature (Hebrews 5:12-14, Matthew 19:11-12-Message), the more I realize that a man who has a heart for God, in his words and especially in his actions, is so paramount to me. I recall being so stupid, silly and carnal that I used to say things like "I know one thing, I don't want a virgin when I get married. I want a man who knows what he's doing." Um...yeah about that (LOL). *Any man who is sexually experienced before marriage is a man who was spiritually disobedient* (once upon a time, I shared a video on this blog about the scientific effects of sex. It's *well worth your time* to visit or revisit it here). Should God bring me to a man (Genesis 2:22) who has been restored sexually (as am I), I will willingly embrace him. All I'm saying is to declare that I want a man who didn't understand or value sexual purity enough to wait until his wedding day is...ridiculous. A man who covered himself is a man who can be trusted to cover me.
And so yes, big time kudos to this couple because it's a picture that's simply a reminder of another way of covering. And that's why I like New Living Translation of Ephesians 5:22-23, from the title on down.
First of all, I appreciate/respect that it speaks to *how* couples are to submit. Far too often, I hear women say "I don't have to submit to a man any more than he has to submit to me. The Bible says it." Um, close but no cigar (LOL). You submit to him (Colossians 3:17) and he submits to God. And through a husband's submission to God, that is how he is able to serve you better.
*And that's why* it really should be a non-negotiable to marry someone who is a Christ *and Word* follower (2 Corinthians 6:11-18). There is simply no way that marriage is going to work, or last, in the way that God intended, any other way. I mean, how is a man even supposed to remotely grasp the concept of loving his wife as Christ loved the Church if he has no relationship with Christ to begin with? How's he supposed to cleanse her with the Word if he doesn't know/read/study (2 Timothy 2:15-AMP) it? How's he supposed to really love her, if he doesn't pay attention to the Love Chapter (I Corinthians 13:4-8)?
HE CAN'T. AND WON'T.
*A Spirit-Guided Relationship*...
That is what this blog is dedicated to: providing women with tips, tools and standards on how to be Spirit-led as singles so that they will be Spirit-led and driven in selecting their partners in preparation to make the transition into ultimately become a Spirit-led wife. *The wife of one man*. Until death. And being that the Word says that God's way is perfect and he makes a man's way perfect (2 Samuel 22:31&33), how could you not want a relationship/marriage *unless* God is leading it?
Yeah...that picture is amazingly bar setting...and/or bar raising.
Don't settle for less than a man who covers you...
In every way...
By following the Spirit.