Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, ”
Colossians 3:4 “When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. ”
Phil. 1:21 “ For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. ”
It’s been a week since my sister and Brandon Cook were wed. There is a thought that has been on my mind throughout the week that I have been itching to share. It’s not just illustrated in their wedding, but in the wedding of any man and woman who are lovers of each other and lovers of God. When my brother-in-law, Brandon, said “I do” to my sister he forsook all others and committed himself to her alone. We joke about it being “game over” or him being locked up to a ball-and-chain, but he seriously did lose his freedom. He no longer may come and go as he pleases, but must give his concerns and thoughts to my sister (as well as his paycheck! LOL!). Her well being precedes his own. There will be items that he will have to fore go obtain so that my sister may have something she needs or maybe just desires to have. In short, Brandon has lost his life for my sister. This, although not perfect, is an illustrative reminder (or a pointer) to the infinitely greater reality of what Jesus Christ has done for His bride – His Church. He considered His being God not a thing to be exploited and took upon Himself the form of a servant, a human, and was obedient unto the death of the cross. He gave His life so as to obtain His chosen people – His Bride! A definite price paid for a definite object, the object of His affection.
But there is another part to the “I do”’s, and that’s my sister, the bride. When she said “I do!” she lost her life as well; although not the same way as her new husband. Brandon lost his life for her, but Kristan lost her life IN him. You see he becomes her life, she forsakes her previous last name and adopts his. She is no longer a Pulliam, but a Cook. He is now her head as opposed to our Dad. She is concerned with pleasing him, adoring him as a wife should adore her husband. She looks to him for protection and guidance. Colossians 3:4 and Philippians 1:21 are two verses of God’s Word that their marriage reminded me of.
A marriage is to illustrate gospel truths to other. One of the ways we image our maker is through marriage. One of the ways we communicate the gospel is through marriage. I do pray The LORD to work mightily in the lives of my sister and her husband. I thank Him for His grace, and that He has given us reminders and illustrations of the gospel in various areas of life.
Are you His Bride? “And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9:23-26
Mr. Findlater, a henpecked husband, is weary of his marital situation. Thinking only of how unappreciative Mrs. Findlater is of him and all he does, he has a two fold desire: 1. to be rid of Mrs. Findlater, and 2. to live in the South Seas with the native poster girl of his dreams – Lalage. Whenever circumstances become somewhat uncomfortable for him, he retreats to his dream world where he lays in a hammock with Lalage doting over him, telling him how wonderful of a man he is and how much she appreciates his company. He shares with his dream darling his other dream that he has – that of coming home from work and finding out Mrs. Findlater has died of a stroke. He confesses to his imaginary belle how this dream brings him much joy. Lalage (now taking on more of an alter ego of Mr. Findlater or a demonic presence than a fantasy island girl) suggests to Mr. Findlater that he could assist in the removal of Mrs. Findlater. At first he balks at the idea of such a hideous thing, but as they walk along contemplating it, he begins to warm up to the idea. Oddly enough, while talking with Lalage, he happens upon a gun, loaded, and unattended. With a little encouragement from Lalage, he decides to take it, thinking owning a gun could be an adventuresome thing.
He thinks no more about Lalage’s proposition until one day he is in a public restroom alone. The door strangely is stuck shut and he can’t get out. He calls for help, yet no one can hear. He leans out the open window and yells for someone, but no one is able to hear him. Lalage suggests that this is the perfect room for an alibi to Mrs. Findlater’s murder. This begins the elaborate scheme of Mr. Findlater, from working out to get in shape so he could climb the rope in and out of the window, to a silly disguise so the neighbors don’t see him entering his own home when he intends to shoot his wife – he even convinces Mrs. Findlater to leave all her possession to someone other than him so it appears he has no motive to murder.
The day comes, and he sneaks out, as he walks into his house, fully anticipating the fulfillment of his 3rd dream, his 2nd dream becomes reality – the doctor comes down the steps, seeing through the disguise and informing him that Mrs. Findlater has passed due to a stroke. Yet unlike the look of satisfaction that he has in that dream, he has more of a look of unfulfilled desire.
You see, Mr. Findlater’s two initial dreams lead to his third – the murder of his wife. (As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.) Having brought you up to where the story ironically leaves us, I’ll leave you to ponder the point I want to make:
“But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
To quote another character created by A.A. Milne (the author of this elaborate plot)… “Think! Think! Think!” ~ Winnie the Pooh