I’m away from my wife right now to visit my son and go to the dentist, about a three hour drive from home. I had a great dinner with him tonight and I’m looking forward to seeing him tomorrow (my son, that is). I’ll see my dentist tomorrow. I like my dentist, as dentists go, but I’d much rather spend the time hanging out with my son. Maybe he’ll become a dentist some day and I’ll be able to make my visits more efficient.
All that is beside the point though, just the ramblings of a man alone in a hotel room, writing about my wife because I miss her and can’t be with her right now. Even though I’m enjoying the time, most of my heart is still back with her. I wonder if Jesus feels this way?
If Jesus feels the way I do about His bride, He misses her. Waiting for ‘that day’ when His bride will be complete and eternally next to Him must leave Him feeling incomplete in some way (Ok, I know that’s theologically bent and will have those who champion God’s self-existence and sufficiency convulsing – but I speak as a man who believes God feels and feels especially for those He has won with His love – I just don’t know what that looks like in raw human terms, so bear with me).
In some way He must feel a longing for the day when all will be put right and His beloved will be beside Him without stain or spot or ending. I’m gone one night and long for tomorrow so I can head back home and be close to my wife again. I truly feel lacking without her. Not that I can’t function or do the things I’m supposed to do, but a little empty without her nearby.
I can’t help but think that if the whole Bible lays out the plan of God to save as many of those He loves that will believe in Him. And that the whole of human history is flowing toward its culmination at the wedding of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7), then God must be excited for that day. All creation awaits it, so why wouldn’t our Creator be anticipating it, and feel a little void until it comes?[clickToTweet tweet=”Jesus is looking forward to all the things we will do together. jimturnerauthor.com” quote=”Jesus is looking forward to all the things we will do together.”]
If Jesus feels the way I do, He can’t wait to enjoy us, His bride. I love talking to my wife, hugging her, making her laugh, going places with her, cuddling, thinking through plans and difficulties, praying, reading, watching shows about castles and baking and home renovations (and whatever other shows don’t feel like a complete waste of time), working side by side, blessing and raising our children, and a million other things. I think Jesus is looking forward to all the things we will do together. Even though I’m sure He already enjoys the things we already do as we walk side by side with Him here.
If He feels the way I do, He must truly savor the days to come with His bride. Think of the grandeur and spectacle that surrounds the last couple of chapters of the book of Revelation. It’s simply majestic to hear God talk about the upcoming wedding and consummation of all things. It takes my breath away. It’s God sharing His heart about US! He delights in talking about His plans for us!
If Jesus feels the way I do, He is satisfied with us. I’m not pretending my wife is perfect, but I know she’s perfect for me. The Church is not perfect, but the Church is perfect for Jesus. He paid the ultimate price to win her and He loves her unconditionally. I didn’t pay near the price Jesus did, but I can’t stand the thought of being without her even on her worst day. I am thrilled with her, not merely satisfied. I think Jesus must feel the same.
If Jesus feels the way I do, He can’t wait to hear our voice. Really, I don’t like going a day without hearing my wife’s voice. We text all the time, many, many times throughout the day. But hearing her voice touches that part of my heart that can’t be touched any other way. Ok, it’s 11:31 p.m. and I started writing this paragraph before my wife called me. She was super tired so we only talked for a short few minutes and then prayed together and said goodnight. I feel better now. I feel at peace. Before I heard her voice I felt a sense of ‘the day is not complete, I wonder how she is’ anticipation. Now, it’s easier to sleep.
If Jesus feels the way I do, He delights to see us happy. I think happy is too surface-y a word. Jesus’ delight goes deeper. Much deeper. He delights to create abiding joy in the innermost parts of our soul. Next time you get a chance, take a few minutes to study a few of the verses concerning the joy that Jesus gives (John 15:11, Romans 14:17, 15:13,Galatians 5:22,Colossians 1:11,Hebrews 1:9,1 Peter 1:8, 4:13, Jude 24). I feel heavy when my wife is bearing a burden, or sad about something. I am energized when I know she’s happy – joyful! It would surprise me if Jesus doesn’t feel the same.
I could go on about all the things I feel when it comes to my wife. But I’m guessing you’ve heard enough about me so let’s wrap it up.
Why would God compare our relationship with Jesus to marriage if He didn’t intend for marriage to be a great relationship? To hear a lot of people talk about marriage, you’d think it would be the last thing God would compare His relationship with us to. To view a lot of marriages, Christian marriages, one wonders how anyone would want a relationship like that. It doesn’t have to be that way! Your marriage can be a crystal clear picture of the love relationship Jesus has with the Church. I think that starts with a man deciding to be like Jesus.
I’ve been imagining that Jesus feels about His bride much the same way I do about mine. But I think the better study, the better question is, ‘do I feel the same way about my bride as Jesus does about His?’. He is the standard, not me. My motivation should be to study Jesus and how He loves His bride and then imitate Him. It’s what I think every husband should be passionate about. The greatest gift a husband can give his wife is to diligently study and imitate how Jesus loves His bride. Give her this gift and you will enjoy blessing you never dreamed of.[clickToTweet tweet=”The greatest gift a husband can give his wife is to diligently study and imitate how Jesus loves His bride.” quote=”The greatest gift a husband can give his wife is to diligently study and imitate how Jesus loves His bride.”]