"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her."
Most girls have idealistic wedding dreams: white dress, flowers, beautiful cake, first dance. But once you get engaged, panic sets in. Weddings can be a lot of work! I was trying to balance wedding planning and my last semester of college, and only managed to do so through working non-stop over Christmas and Easter breaks. Since then, I have watched several other friends roll up their sleeves, wade through exhaustion and tears, and work to make a celebration for several hundred people actually happen.
Perhaps the most mind-blowing thing is that as the Bride of Christ, we don’t have to do any of the work. Christ did all the work to be able to claim His Bride, and His work was a lot harder than mine was. He gave His very life – lived perfectly – for His Church. He gave His life for an undeserving Bride, and He did it so we would know salvation and true reconciliation. “He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…” (Isaiah 53:5) so He might turn to us and say, “You are mine.”
...SORROW AND LOVE FLOW MINGLED DOWN;
DID E'ER SUCH LOVE AND SORROW MEET,
OR THORNS COMPOSE SO RICH A CROWN?
(ISAAC WATTS, 1707)