It’s Valentine’s Day…but I promise not too much of the mush and gush today…

Ruth 1

16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or turn back from following you; for where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.

17 Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. Thus may the LORD do to me, and worse, if anything but death parts you and me.”

The Book of Ruth was the basis of the message shared at our wedding. It had always been a special story throughout my life before my wedding, and certainly became even more meaningful afterwards. My husband and I have been married for a long time…I realize you can probably tell that from his glasses, hair and style of his tuxedo. Kate Middleton, now Duchess Katherine, apparently loved my dress so much that she used it for her own wedding. LOL–but there are amazing similarities if you compare the images. I think there are a few other similarities worth mentioning: the grooms are tall, the gowns are white, the brides both carry white flowers, the grooms and brides are smiling. I cannot speak for Kate, but my wedding day ranks up there at the top of my very favorite days of all time.

My wedding day confirmed and transformed me forever. My chosen partner in life was mine and I was his. No longer was I single, I was now joined as the wife of my husband. We had that piece of paper that so many devalue today. In the eyes of our government, we were and remain a single unit. In the eyes of God, we are one. I ceased to be who I was–and by that I do not mean that I emptied myself of me, but rather I was grafted in a way to another being. And there could be no easy separating of that bond. If you consider the grafting of skin to burn victims, the graft becomes united with the body of the person receiving the graft. In order to get that graft, it must be cut away from the donor and then united to the recipient’s body. Because of the tenderness of the injured skin, removing the healed graft from the recipient would probably hurt far more than it did to remove it from the donor. That is how I view my marriage–to have my marriage separated would be far more painful than if I had never married my husband. It would be like part of me was being torn away.

Now think about the Savior. Throughout scripture He is referred to as the Bridegroom and the church is His Bride. In Philippians, we see a tremendous picture of what Jesus did in order to become that Savior-Bridegroom:

Philippians 2

 Now if your experience of Christ’s encouragement and love means anything to you, if you have known something of the fellowship of his Spirit, and all that it means in kindness and deep sympathy, do make my best hope for you come true!

Live together in harmony, live together in love, as though you had only one mind and one spirit between you. Never act from motives of rivalry or personal vanity, but in humility think more of each other than you do of yourselves.

None of you should think only of his own affairs, but should learn to see things from other people’s point of view.  

Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be. For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his prerogatives as God’s equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as mortal man. And, having become man, he humbled himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dying, and the death he died was the death of a common criminal.

That is why God has now lifted him so high, and has given him the name beyond all names, so that at the name of Jesus “every knee shall bow”, whether in Heaven or earth or under the earth.

And that is why, in the end, “every tongue shall confess” that Jesus Christ” is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  

Jesus willingly left the glory and splendor of heaven, where He was worshiped and honored by angels to take on the form of mankind, and a servant at that. All to become the Bridegroom-Savior. His self-sacrifice is the perfect example of how a marriage is to work. Giving sacrificially for the good of the other.

My marriage is the most important human relationship I will ever have. It is characterized by trust and faith, hope and forgiveness, friendship and passion. There is no one else who knows my heart the way Nathan does. I never have to wonder if he is watching out for my well-being. And like Proverbs 31, I think my husband’s heart trusts me to only do good for him. The longer we are together, the stronger that bond becomes. As we grow closer and closer together, we are more and more alike in so many ways. That graft has taken hold and become strong skin. That piece of paper, that license of marriage, is a symbol not only of the promises that we have made, but it is our love letter to each other that has been sealed.

I probably won’t get flowers today (I usually get them on February 9th in celebration of our Promise Day) and I hopefully won’t get candy. I will probably get a funny card that my husband thought was just perfect. And he’ll be right. I will make our family a special dinner, and we will probably watch sappy movies together. That is about as much mush and gush as I can muster up.

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