A friend of mine and I were just talking about how in the West we marry the one we love and how, in the East we learn to love the one we marry.
This friend related the true story of a woman she knows. Her friend lives in the East and her marriage was arranged, as is typical.
The groom’s parents arrived at her friends’ house and drove the bride-to-be to their family home; where she was to be joined to a man she did not know.
She fully expected to be ravished by her husband on their wedding night.
1) Instead, at bed time, he walked into their room, kissed her on the forehead, laid down on the floor at the end of the bed and went to sleep.
2) The second night her new husband again kissed her on the head but then he lay down on the floor next to the bed and stayed there all night.
3) The third night, he kissed his new wife on the forehead and then slept next to her on the bed but did not touch her.
4) “Finally, on the fourth night”, my friend told me, “he joined her in their bed and he romanced her.”
“He romanced her.” What a story! I couldn’t help but think of Jesus and His love for His people. He loves them before He marries them and He loves them still. He chooses to love them before they know or want Him. Now He loves them in their imperfections and helps them grow as His faithful Bride.
He is patient. He could take me against my will but He doesn’t. Jesus is a gentle man. He gives me time. He is waiting for me…
Then, when I am willing, He will spiritually romances me. And this, He says is among His deepest desires.
Embrace the analogy . God wants to love you. He wants to be with you. He wants a life-long romance with you.
Where are you in your relationship with Jesus? Do you fear being spiritually intimate with Him? He’s pursuing you. I find His closeness intimidating at times. He can see right through me. Yet He wants me… Incredible.
I must choose to respond to His advances. When I do – when I know He has my best interest in mind – when I know He is only good – when I know He is giving me all that is His – it’s life changing. His enduring love for us is the most incredible love story of all time.