Some cultures today practice the custom of arranged marriages. Fathers take the lead in finding wives for their sons. It’s much different than our modern American culture where two kids become interested in each other, date, fall in love, and announce to their parents that they’re getting married.
Either is acceptable to God, with this one major promise: God has arranged a marriage that outshines, outloves, and outlives any other marriage or any marital status (single, divorced, widowed, married or remarried).
God chose all believers to be his own bride. He chose us even though our sins condemn us with blame and shame. He knew he was “marrying down” but also knew that this marriage would change us. Transform us. And not just make us a bit better, but holy!
Here’s how, according to the Bible referring to believers as the bride and Jesus as the groom: Jesus “gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27).
Jesus gave himself for you and died as punishment for your sins, then rose in victory over sin and death. In your baptism he gives this paid-for and perfectly clean record to you. He clothes you as a beautiful bride all dressed up for her wedding and everything is perfect.
She glows. People stand when she enters the room. She walks elegantly down the aisle and all eyes are on her stunning beauty.
That’s you and all believers. The bride of Christ. Changed by marriage. New life! And the thing is, the wedding never ends. You remain stunningly beautiful to Christ, his eyes are on you and he is full of happiness and satisfaction like a groom watching his bride walk up the aisle.
Jesus loves you and approves you as fully forgiven and without shame or blame, without dirty sin or guilt. No matter what your marital status on this earth, you have the best marital status as the bride of Christ.
PRAYER: Dear God, yes! I approve your arranged marriage. I love Jesus, the perfect Groom who loves even me. I can glow in holy beauty. I am elegant in his grace. I can face today believing that you already approve of me and Jesus is fully committed to me. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Genesis chapter 24. It’s an arranged marriage where Abraham seeks a wife for his grown son, Isaac. As you read, pay attention to how Abraham and his servant respect and trusts God to guide the process. They don’t force their way. When we live by faith in God’s arranged marriage to us, we can better practice our other relationships whatever our marital status.