This past spring our family attended an Above Rubies Family Camp here in Tennessee. While there we met a couple that invited us to attend a marriage seminar that they were hosting in another part of Tennessee in June that Colin and Nancy Campbell would also be teaching at. At the time I didn’t think much about it, but later felt like God wanted us to attend. This song arrived shortly before the seminar. God had been showing Todd a lot about the importance of the marriage relationship and it was a big part of our evening conversations after we said goodnight to the children and retired for the night. We both had suffered as a result of divorce in our past (my parents and his spouse) so we had experienced first hand the consequences of sin in this realm.
Around this time God led Todd to do an eighty day fast from marital activity. We don’t recommend this, by the way, unless it is God’s idea. One of the things that we noticed was that it was far more difficult for Todd than it was for me. I think most couples would find this to be the case. This is what we believe God was trying to teach us through this. Just as a young man who has remained pure is so very ready to consummate the union with his bride, so is Christ ready to do the same with His. However, His Bride has not prepared herself as she should. She is distracted with many things and barely even thinks of her Bridegroom. If you read in the old testament (Ez. 16, etc.) you will find some pretty graphic depictions of what His bride has been up to. Are those of us who call ourselves Christians excited about His return and preparing for it or are we treating this life more like a bachelor party?
We often get this idea that Christ must return soon because things have become so evil. What we forget is that the purpose of this life is preparation for the next. His Bride needs to be making herself ready for the wedding feast and what follows. She isn’t supposed to be partying with the world. That is what this song is about. We must not forget what marriage represents or we will take it too lightly and give up too easily. Marriage is something that we must prepare our children for early on. We must emphasize to them the importance of purity prior to marriage. We must train our daughters to submit to their fathers so that they are better able to submit to their husbands. We must teach our sons to respect, love, and cherish their mothers and sisters, not be users of women. When those who profess faith in Christ have no more power to hold a marriage together than those of the world, we are clearly not operating in the power of the Holy Spirit. We need to repent of our failures in this realm and cry out to God for His mercy.
Todd and I have a fire in us for seeing marriages succeed because we know the destruction that results when they don’t. This song is our encouragement to anyone who is tempted to give up in the fight. God can enable you to win this battle. Don’t give in to the lies of the enemy. Marriage is worth fighting for. It is a picture of our Savior and His Bride. It is not about fulfilling our own selfishness. It is about glorifying Him.
(Note: This photo is of Thor (5 1/2) and Tirzah (4) in September of 2017. We had recently attended a betrothal ceremony where the bridegroom washed his bride’s feet. Thor and Tirzah were simply acting out what they had seen. Weddings and betrothals make great homeschooling opportunities. What a great picture of how the Bride of Christ is to be purified as well.)
Purify His Bride
We must remember brothers when we’re tempted to give in
To the lies of the devil, the deceptiveness of sin;
When we were still a harlot, our Savior bled and died,
But through His resurrection came power to purify His Bride.
We must not take our unions lightly and the picture they portray,
For in them there is truth that God wants us to convey.
God is not merely our Maker, our Redeemer, and Best Friend;
He is our eternal Lover, faithful without end. (Refrain)
Are we excited about His coming? Are we preparing for that day?
Or are we busy and distracted with that which rots and decays?
Are we seeking other lovers feeding our selfishness within?
We may say we love our Bridegroom, but do we really love our sin? (Refrain)
The enemy is so busy, oh so busy in this day,
Destroying entire families, causing spouses to go astray.
We must not give him a foothold, we must repent of our pride.
For Christ is longing to return, but He’s awaiting His Pure Bride. (Refrain)
Copyright 2018 Holy Spirit (via Paula Smith)