The Perfect Wedding


“For your Maker is your husband—
    the Lord Almighty is his name—
the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; 
    he is called the God of all the earth.”   (Isaiah 54:5 NIV)

 

I was five-years-old, just a wisp of a little girl living in a dream world all my own. On one particular afternoon, I gathered my supplies and prepared for the big day. First, I wrapped a long white sheet around my slender body and draped the excess over my shoulder and down my back. Then I draped a bath-sized towel over the crown of my head like a veil and clutched a bouquet of plastic flowers to my chest. I stood at the end of my home’s long hallway and the processional began. I could almost hear the organ playing “Here comes the bride,” as I sashayed down the “aisle” with imaginary friends and family looking on.

Little girls and big girls dream about the day they will become a bride. And for many, that dream doesn’t always turn out the way they had hoped. But here is some good news…some great news; no matter what your marital status this side of heaven – never married, once married, happily married, widowed or divorced, God is your holy Husband who longs to protect you, provide for you, and cherish you through all the ups and downs of life. His name is Ish – Husband.

We first see God’s name as Ish or Husband in the book of Isaiah:  “For your Maker is your husband — the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.”

In the New Testament, Jesus is also referred to as the husband for his bride – the Church.

I asked my husband what visual image forms in his mind when he reads that he is part of the “Bride of Christ.”

“Nothing really,” he replied.

Granted, I can’t picture Steve walking down the aisle in a pearl studded wedding gown. But oh sister, I can see myself waltzing down the aisle to meet my Jesus. Can’t you? What a blessing God has given His female image-bearers as the Bride of Christ, and He our husband!

In the Old Testament Jewish tradition, the father chose a bride for his son. If the woman accepted the proposal of marriage, the groom paid a “bride price” to her family of a few cows, a couple of sheep, or perhaps some gold trinkets.

The couple drank from a cup of wine to seal the marriage covenant between them, and would not drink of it again until the day of the wedding ceremony. Then the groom left his betrothed and went back to his father’s house to build a home for her. Once the home was competed to the father’s satisfaction, the young man returned to whisk away his bride. Usually this took place in the middle of the night with torch toting groomsmen whooping and hollering to let her know they were on their way. Her responsibility was to be prepared – to be ready at all times.

And so it is with your groom. God has chosen you to be the bride for his Son (Ephesians 1:4).  Jesus paid the ultimate bride price for you when He gave His very life on the cross (1 Corinthians 6:20).

At the last supper, after Jesus and his disciples had broken the bread and drank the wine, He explained to them, “I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:29).

And where is Jesus right now? He is preparing your home. “My Father’s house has many rooms,” Jesus said, “if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:2-3). And when his Father says it is time, Jesus will come back like a “thief in the night” to whisk away his bride (1 Thessalonians 5:1-2).

Doesn’t that just give you chills!

Whether you are divorced with a heart broken by betrayal, widowed with a bed chilled by loneliness, single with still no promise of a ring on your finger, or happily joined to the man of your dreams, Jesus longs to take you in his arms, not simply “for as long as you both shall live,” but for all eternity.

Let’s Pray

Yahweh Ish, Thank You for caring for me as a husband cares for his bride. Thank You for Your protection, provision, and never-ending love. I rest in the knowledge that You are my sacred Ish, not simply “til’ death do us part,” but for all eternity.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Now It’s Your Turn

Look up the following verses and note how Jesus referred to himself:

Hosea 2:16, 19-20

Matthew 9:15

Revelation 19:6-9

What comes to your mind when you think of Jesus as the groom and you as the Bride? Share your answer on my in the comment box.

More from the Girlfriends

I don’t know about you, but for most of us, life doesn’t usually turn out the way we had hoped. Broken dreams litter life. But here’s the good news! God has a purpose and a plan. HE has a more amazing plan for you than you ever imagined. If you have lost sight of your dreams, grab onto God’s hand and travel to a place you thought you’d never find. The dreams God had planned for you all along.  I’m offering a special offer to my blog readers for the month of April. Buy 1 copy of Dreams of a Woman: God’s Plan for Fulfilling Your Dreams and get one free. When you purchase 1 copy, we’ll ship you 2. It won’t show up on your receipt, but 2 will show up in your package. This is only for the month of April.  Only for my blog readers.

35 Responses to The Perfect Wedding

  1. Kate Walsh April 18, 2013 at 12:07 pm #

    He Is Mine I am Jealous for Him as He is for Me. He is My Lover. He is like you know when you have a boyfriend or fiance and you are very much in love but we are not married yet this side of Heaven? It’s amazing He loves Me tenderly and does everything for me always providing. We have a Perfect Relationship.

  2. Ashley April 18, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

    When I think of Jesus as my groom and me as his bride I think of being loved unconditionally and wholeheartedly. It’s a blessing actually. 🙂

  3. George Jenkins April 18, 2013 at 12:20 pm #

    I initially had the same response as your husband Steve. Or, more like why do I want to read this?. However, I had told a friend that I would follow her devotional readings, so I did.

    What a surprise! What a blessing!!!!!!!

    I have been a Christian for almost 60 years, but I did not know the whole significance of the “the thief in the night”, the wine at communion, or Jesus’ promise not to drink of it again until we are with him.

    I also did not realize the real importance of the five wise virgins keeping their lamps burning and always being ready.

    Your statement “the father chose a bride for his son” fits so well with the Father giving us to Jesus’ (and His keeping us) as written in John 18:9, “I have not lost one of those you gave me.”

    Thank you so much and God bless you
    George Jenkins

  4. Andrea April 18, 2013 at 12:21 pm #

    I used to play wedding all the time as a young girl. Your description reminded me of those days. Although, when my wedding day arrived, it was better than all my pretend ones. God gave me the Ish I didn’t expect. I didn’t think I deserved. The thought of being Christ Jesus’ bride, makes me giddy with happiness and expectation. If my earthly Ish is more than I ever hoped for, my heavenly Ish will be even better. I Love them both with a reckless abandon and with all I have to give, and all my heart.Thanks for helping me to start my day off with the right image in my mind and with a focus on God. Always a great way to start my day.

  5. Kathy April 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    Twenty one years ago I discovered my husband of 18 yrs.was having an affair with our married neighbor…….2families went to ruin in the next year. But God showed up in this family with mighty compassion, power, provision, mercy, love, and healing. That scripture reference became alive for me out of sheer brokenness & deep need. My 5 children came to know God as Abba, I came to know Him as Ish. Thankyou, Sharon, for the beauty you bring to us out of Gods Word. I pray that today’s devotion will be life &breath for those women who need intamacy with our loving, mighty Father!

  6. Kate Walsh April 18, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    http://youtu.be/DH1VT2PeGDw

  7. Valerie April 18, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

    I had never thought of Jesus coming in the night like the way you described how a groom comes for his bride when his home is ready……She has to always be prepared…It made me really think how I am not ready physically nor spiritually ready to meet Jesus. I know that he loves he and will take me just like I am, but I am embarrassed that I have “let my body go.” I have put everything before my health, no exercise except what I get in a days work. I am ashamed ….then I think Jesus sees me everyday like I am now….Please pray that the Holy Spirit will come and make his presence known to me everyday and that he will show me and convict me of what I need to do to change my lifestyle so that my “life” and my “style” would be pleasing to Him.
    Valerie

    • Shell April 26, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

      Oh, Valerie, I know exactly what you mean! I have let my body go so long without exercising, and eating food that I know isn’t good for me, now I have high blood pressure. I feel so guilty when I eat more chips instead of carrot sticks, but I just want that salt!! I will pray for you that God gives you the time, motivation, and joy to work out and be healthy. 🙂 Be strong–you are woman, a beautiful daughter of the King!!

  8. Rhonda April 18, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    To be Jesus’s bride, oh how I long for that day. To see his shining face and when he surrounds me in His loving arms, the feel of peace and joy. I remember how excited I was over 30 years ago as I walked down the isle of my church home into the arms of my human dream man.
    I believe when I start down to meet Jesus with His arms outstreached and the love flowing from His beautiful eyes I will truly know I. am. HOME.

  9. Ellen April 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm #

    I think of being the bride of Jesus is so Awesome!!! What a perfect relationship we can have. He loves me so much, and accepts me as I am. A love that will last for and ever. I been married once, and would love to be married again. I believe there’s someone out there for me.The Lord can find me the most wonderful man here on earth, However, our marriage will never be as perfect like the marriage I have with my Lord and Savior. Pray for me that I may find a Godly man sometime soon. That it will be the Lords will for me to get married again. Thank you Sharon for these wonderful devotions they have helped me grow so much in the Lord. May God Bless you.

  10. SPB April 18, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    When I think about the Jesus being my groom and I the bride, I feel secured, loved unconditionally, protected and provided for. I want to focus on Jesus more than my present situation. I have been married for 17 years with two kids. I am sad and broken hearted. Reading this devotion has encourage my heart.

  11. Zoe April 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    After reading this devotion, I am still have chills and I am just awe. I am going through quiet of disappointments but this just gave me hope that I have a husband who cares and yearns for me. I just brought joy to my heart. I knows what I am going through on daily basis and I know he loves me. His unconditional love make me fall in love with him each and everyday. I cant wait to see my groom.

  12. Marjorie April 18, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    OH!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My god i just cant stop crying to be reminded that i have a loving and caring husband and JESUS is his name. He is mine yes he is mine sob! sob! sob! yes he is mine, i love him .i love him ,i love him……………………. Thank you Jesus for been my EVERLASTING GROOM………………………………

  13. Carla April 18, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    Sharon,

    I tried to click the link to purchase the book and get the second copy and it was not sending me to the correct page? Help 🙂

  14. Lana April 18, 2013 at 3:17 pm #

    To think of Jesus as my husband, washes away all the disappointments and hurts from my previous marriage. It is awesome to know that Jesus wants to protect me, provide for me and love me. Thank you, Jesus for giving me a peace that I do not have to have a man on Earth to take care of me because I have You..

  15. FrancsEve April 18, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    That was an encouragment for me. I am and have been going through tremendous trials in my marriage and am only still here because the Lord showed me in no uncertain terms that this is where HE wants me to be. I sometimes have to cry out to him for hours on end when things become unbearable. He has shown me what a WONDERFUL husband he is!

  16. Lynn April 18, 2013 at 4:31 pm #

    Being Christ bride is truly heartwarming and satisfying. Your thoughts are always warm and loving and with a homelike heaven, how would you ever want fora ything else!!

  17. caren April 18, 2013 at 4:45 pm #

    First I could like to say, thanks so much for sharing encouragement for today.
    I truly tried to read them every day it is up lifting.
    Today I felt like God was speaking through you for me. I never got married, was once engaged to be married but it never happened. Also to tell you truth my parents didn’t have a
    happy marriage, so I didn’t want any part of marriage. I didn’t read the bible when I was young, so I didn’t know what God ask of us. Now I do, and today you mentioned that God is the groom forever. I am married to the one who dwells in me forever, that makes me over joyed. This does not make me feel ashamed, because I have a family. This happy me because I know he has forgiven me for nothing having a husband. This give me hope, that God loves me more than ever. I am overwhelmed, and at peace with this message from God. Thanks so much for sharing. I know I will have a awesome day, because of this message. God bless you and have a blessed day.

  18. Roslyn Wright April 18, 2013 at 4:49 pm #

    When I think of JESUS as my husband, I think of a faithful friend, lover, and confidant! Someone who will love me for the me that I am. Someone who won’t cheat on me or betray my trust in any way. Someone whom I can tell I my secrets, dreams, desires, faults, and weakness, and not worry about them being used against me in any way and not used as justification to hurt me! Thank GOD for HIS Healing and Restoration! I cannot say that enough, because I cannot thank HIM enough for where HE has brought me from!

  19. Erika April 18, 2013 at 5:25 pm #

    This was a beautiful devotional! This makes me feel so outstanding, being single never married status. My joy is renewed as I am shown a different perspective of how God is my Ish. Thank you Sister Sharon!

  20. Patricia Mortley April 18, 2013 at 7:59 pm #

    As I read ur post today I started to think maybe I was always looking in the wrong place for the right man. Maybe I am meant to wait on the lord,because not one of the men in my live has done me any good. Thank you for opening my eyes i will wait on the Lord and get the best husdand in the world!!

  21. Jeanette Larrimore April 18, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    When I think of Jesus as my bridegroom and me as the bride, I think of restored purity….the purity that came when He, the Lamb of God took away my sins.

  22. Leslie Dawn Neagle April 19, 2013 at 1:06 am #

    I just love to listen to Dr. J. Vernon McGee go through the Book of The Song Of Solomon. He’s so passionate. He says that Jesus just gives him goose bumps. You can listen to him, a man get all gaga over his Lord. WONDERFUL EXAMPLE?

  23. Lillie March 4 April 19, 2013 at 4:43 am #

    When I think of Jesus as my bridegroom, I think of being accepted and loved as a bride and child of God.

  24. Linah Khumalo April 19, 2013 at 5:41 am #

    Greetings lovely Bride of God

    I am 48 single GF, always mourning to have husband. Sometimes embarrassed to be alone. The sharing today has a special space in my heart, new revelation. I realise I am not single in the heavenly realm, Christ is my eternal husband, with bountiful love. I am whole in Him, complete creation. I am worthy of His love. I am at peace.

    Please forward daily devotion to my email deboutfemmes@yahoo.co.uk

    Blessings to all GF

    Linah Khumalo

    +27 82 501 7547

  25. Lydia April 19, 2013 at 12:46 pm #

    Sometime ago, I was challenged to write a letter to God listing the things I thought I needed to be truly. My list included a husband and children. And as I studied God’s Word over the next several weeks, I saw that He had already given me both. I am the Bride of Christ. And though work with Child Evangelism Fellowship, I have had the opportunity to help hundreds of children see their need for a Savior. I might never get married here on Earth, I might never have children of my own, but God has given me so much more than what I thought I needed. He showed me how INCREDIBLY MARVELOUS His love is for me. I was chosen by the Father as a Bride for His Son. Every time I stop to think about it, it brings tears of joy to me eyes.
    Thank you for the reminder.

  26. Sandra April 19, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    As the bride of Christ, I will be surrounded by the kind of love that every woman dreams of having. It is a love that never strays, never fades, and never fails. I will always be provided for, protected, cherished, and safe in my Bridegroom’s loving arms.

  27. Tricia Milligan April 20, 2013 at 12:06 pm #

    I really loved reading this devotional and the timing could not have been more perfect. I have been doing a word study on the word hope. That morning the verse that I had read was in 1 Tim 6:17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Which made me think of the verse in Matthew 6:19-21 about storing up our treasures in Heaven. These verses brought to mind the image of a hope chest. A bride preparing and dreaming about her someday…waiting for that day to finally arrived. I started thinking about what kinds of things have I been putting in my Spiritual Hope Chest? Your wonderful devotional so tied right in. My thoughts were brought to it again this morning as I read Titus 2:13 – While we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  28. cindy April 21, 2013 at 3:42 am #

    can hardly wait being a widow my jesus is who I look to for comfort these days.life is lonely,but I just have to keep my heart trusting my lord to take care of me.

  29. Lisa Kuechler April 22, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    Two things:
    1) I did a sketch once illustrating it.
    2) The thing that struck me here, in what you wrote, is the idea of us waiting for him while he finishes the house and lets his father inspect it, then quickly runs to bring his bride. It says we are his house, we are stones, so we are the house. In Revelation it talks about the New Jerusalem…so we are being built into the house, we are the bride who is waiting for the house to be built…the illustrations are amazing. To grasp it all….! Wow!

  30. ILET April 24, 2013 at 12:51 pm #

    When I think of Jesus as my Groom my heart gets happy and cannot wait for that day to come to be with him for eternity I thank him every day for savei

  31. Shell April 26, 2013 at 3:15 pm #

    First, I feel so unworthy and dirty. While I know that Jesus wipes all my sins away when I truly repent, I have been taught that if you repeat a sin, that means you never actually repented; if you are truly repentant, you will never commit that sin again. I would like to believe otherwise, but again, I was taught that would just be justifying my own behavior, which is not Christian.

  32. Becky Finnell May 3, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    I am new to this website/ blog. I have been married and hope to be married again. Last weekend the Lord impressed on my heart that I need to become content in Him that if I never marry again I would be fulfilled in Him. He is my husband.

  33. Sophie May 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm #

    I am God’s beloved.

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