This weekend I started a list called “Truths to be Governed By.” That list has the potential to be really long, and due to time constraints I only popped out two truths. The list was meant to be shared with my girlfriend for the purposes of making sure that we are maintaining a biblical perspective of our relationship, but as these truths transcend that context and should dominate all kinds of relationships, I thought I’d share.
Truth #1: Jesus is coming back, and we should get more excited about that than anything else.
1 Peter 1:13 has encouraged me a lot over the past couple of years: “Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Set your hope on Christ’s return, not on graduation from school, not on finding the perfect job, and not on getting married. Hebrews 9:28 says that he is coming back “to save those who are eagerly waiting for him.” Are you more excited about this than anything else? If not, what is it you want to do before he returns? (That’s another way of asking “What are the idols in your life?”) I’m ecstatic about getting married one day, but I should be more ecstatic about the return of Jesus. And when he returns, marriage as we know it (which is a metaphor for Christ and his bride, the Church) will cease to be. As I told my girlfriend, we should be longing for a world to come in which she and I won’t be married. One of the great ways any two Christians can love each other is to help whet each others’ appetite for Christ’s return so that it becomes their foremost hope and desire.
Truth #2: The ultimate marriage will take place when Christ returns, so we should be preparing more for that marriage than for a marriage with each other.
Over and over, we are exhorted as Christians to be ready for Jesus’ return (Matthew 24:42, 25:1-13, 1 Thessalonians 5:6, Revelation 16:15). My girlfriend and I are preparing for a potential marriage by getting to know each other better and asking questions relevant to making a wise decision on the matter. But again, marriage between man and woman is a shadow of the reality of the coming marriage between Christ and his Church. As good and important as it is for her and me to be asking questions concerning parenting, lifestyle, and finances, we should be exerting more time and energy into preparing for THE marriage. Sanctification is God’s will for his children (1 Thessalonians 4:3). We will all eventually be married, and pursuing sanctification (growing to look more and more like Christ) is the way to prepare for that.