When I stood before my husband last month on our wedding day, listening to our pastor give a sermon on the reflection that marriage is to be of Christ’s love for His church, I felt entirely comfortable representing the undeserving bride in the analogy. Tyler is the best man I know, and even still, he alone could not muster the amount of love and grace he shows me. The way the Lord demonstrates His love to me through Tyler is nothing short of divine; inexplicable in any sole human context.
During our engagement, I realized very early on that I could never ‘earn’ this man. And truly, that sometimes made me feel incredibly small and helpless. I longed for a way I could measure the amount of love I deserved from him, a method to prove that I was receiving exactly what I had put in, some record of who was winning in terms of showing affection for one another. My heart would not submit to the acceptance that love is a relentless, wholly underserved grace.
Obviously, Tyler’s pursuit of my heart is only one analogy of many to Christ’s unrelenting love of us. It breaks down at some point. Any earthly example used to try and explain God’s pursuit of us will always be but a dim understanding. However, when my sweet groom watched me walk down the aisle coming toward him, tears in his eyes and a face of wonder and awe, I have never understood the undeserved love of God more clearly.
Watching Tyler as he watched me, I saw a small glimpse of our Father when we look to Him. “You are adored,” he whispers, “You are safe. You are mine.” With knowledge of my former sin and insecurity, Tyler claimed me as his own and created a covenant vowing to love me forever. My heart swelled. There is nothing, truly nothing, which warrants a love like that.
Our love story, the one between Tyler and me, sometimes feels to me like the very best one (you can probably tell this from the way I am gushing). It is not. It pales in comparison to the total scandal of God romancing his undeserved people and then making a way for them to spend an eternity with them, should they choose it. By the grace of God, our marriage will be a faint whisper of what it means for Christ to love His church.
‘For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.’ 2 Corinthians 5: 14-15