The Call of the Bride

27 03 2009

But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.” 
Ruth 1:16-18 

When a woman consents to marry a man, she (if she’s a Christian) should think about the relationship between Christ the Bridegroom and the Church, His bride-and-beloved1Bride.  The Church responds to His call.  The Bride relinquishes her independence, her name, her destiny, her plans for a “life of her own” (remember Jesus’ words: “If anyone wants to follow Me, let him give up his right to himself”), her family, her home, and perhaps even her country to join the life of this man.  She accepts his destiny, his name, his future, and everything else as her own.  If she is called to be his wife, she is called to support and encourage him in the work God calls him to do. ..

…(The source of these perorations is not Why I Feel Good About Being Submissive, by Elizabeth Elliot [don’t order it—there is no such book], but the Book of Books—check out what it says about Christ and His Bride, and then ask Him to help you live by that paradigm.  I’m asking everyday.)

Elizabeth Elliot
“Where Will Complaining Get You?”
November/December 1983 Newsletter

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Why Don’t We Get It?

16 06 2007

“Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.”
(Acts 6:3)

As clear as Scripture is about the priority and preeminence of following, it is somewhat amazing that we still don’t seem to get it. Churches hold leadership training courses, but rarely get around to talking about following. We fill our preaching agendas with calls for men to be leaders in their homes and leaders in the church, when what we really need are people who are first and foremost fully devoted followers.

Think of the dramatic power of a husband who tenderly cares for his wife, because he is singularly defined and directed by Christ, regardless of what he gets in return or how she is responding. As a follower, he has no option but to live Christ’s love in his home. Or consider a leader whose singular goal is to magnify Christ and serve the needs of His people rather than gaining a reputation and influence.

–Joseph Stowell, Following Christ: Experiencing Life The Way It Was Meant To Be, p39