Monday, June 21, 2010

bride-like l o v e

I went to a bridal shower this weekend, and one thing that is consistently impressed upon me by any upcoming bride is anticipation. Anticipation to spend an increased amount of time with the man that they love, an anticipation for all the new adventures, an anticipation to be fully joined to him. The closer to the wedding it is, the greater the anticipation...especially in Christian marriages. They can't get enough of each other. Going home at night becomes painful...because so soon they won't have to anymore. They long for a time when there will be no more hurdles or separation.

I don't know this kind of love, and sometimes wonder if I ever will...

But while I don't know what it's like to be a bride getting ready for marriage, God is showing me that this kind of love is what He takes delight in. He wants me to seek Him out in anticipation every day, because He does the same for me. He takes delight in me. "The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17 God uses several examples of love in a marriage relationship to describe His love for us. He commissioned Hosea to wed a harlot, a woman known for her unfaithfulness. One of my favorite books written loosely to reflect this story is called "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers. God has shown me that there have been times in my life where I have been that harlot, offering my love to other things...things much less worthy than His love. And yet, as Hosea was called to return, God's heart always turns back to me. Even when I haven't turned back yet. Even when I am still searching for another love.

The book of Song of Solomon is another depiction of bride-like love. God has often shown me that His love is like that, romantic and captivating. The bride seeks out her love, and does not rest until she finds him. I want to be like that...but often find myself acting more like the harlot selling herself for the lesser things. Why do I? I believe He loves me...but feel as though I don't deserve that love. What is missing is an understanding of grace. Without grace, we will never be able to receive His love fully because we will discount ourselves. And we then, begin to look for the lesser love.

My heart in this season is to seek out the best love, and to learn to love like a bride. To not settle for anything less, even when I don't think I deserve it. True love does not hold back. I have much to learn, but am ready. "How delightful is your love, my sister, my bride! How much more pleasing is your love than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any spice!" Song of Solomon 4:10


Anne-Therese said...

I love the scriptures you've used, and I just read Redeeming Love for the first time. It's so good to understand His love and be captivated by it...there is no other love like it!

Love you Christina!

plantmyappletree said...

You made me cry a few tears while reading this and I totally understand your lines.

Love how you keep directing your attention to 'the one' - I know how hard it can be to get it right when I don't really know how it feels to be loved in an earthly way 'for ever'.

The man of our dreams is out there - lets put together a rocking outfit and spell him with it ;-)