I was recently honored to be asked to give a devotion for a bridal shower given at our church. Normally a request like that would be pretty far outside of my comfort zone. I much prefer writing to presenting. However, this was for a dear friend who was widowed a number of years ago and never thought she would find someone she cared about again. Instead she is now looking forward to being the wife to a long time pastor at a sister church in our denomination. I will miss her but I know that God has some great things planned for the two of them as they answer their first call together with a new congregation. As it turns out, quite a number of people stopped to tell me they were touched by the devotion, and so I decided to print it here. It is my earnest desire that you will find blessing in it.
When I was asked a few days ago if I would prepare a
devotional for your shower, my first thought was, what in the world could I
share that might be meaningful and useful to you? What do I share with a room
full of women of such mature faith that you haven’t already heard before? So after much prayer, I decided to spend some time looking at a
number of married couples in the Bible for inspiration, and even though we all
pretty much know their stories it doesn’t hurt to remind ourselves of some of
the lessons that are there.
I found so many wonderful examples of love and faith
throughout the Bible that it was hard to choose which ones I wanted to
share. There was Ruth, the Moabite widow
who had lost everything but chose to follow her beloved mother-in-law into a
new faith in a strange land, and in so doing, found a new love, a new home and a
place in the lineage of the Savior of the World. There was Jacob who was willing to work 14
years for his father-in-law in order to marry his beloved Rachel. And there was Joseph who even before he was
visited by the Angel of God wanted to protect from public disgrace and dishonor
his sweet Mary. But I want to go back
farther to the beginning when God
created them male and female he created them.
We all know that when God created Adam and Eve that marriage
between a man and a woman was one of the first institutions that God put into
place. Elizabeth Elliot said it this
might have given Adam another man to be his friend, to walk and talk and argue
with if that was His pleasure. But Adam needed more than the companionship of
the animals or the friendship of a man. He needed a helper, specially designed
and prepared to fit that role. It was a woman God gave him, a woman,
“meet,” fit, suitable, entirely appropriate for him, made of his very bones and
Adam called Eve, “ bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh” It’s our skeleton that is the physical
structure that keeps our bodies upright.
As we are a helpmeet to one another we help to keep each other upright
and strong. That is what you and Craig
will be doing for each other as you live and grow together as husband and wife.
We read later in Genesis 24, that it talks of how Abraham
sent his servant back to his homeland to find a wife for his son Isaac. That servant was led by God to Rebekah. It was not a random act but rather it was the
result of faithful and purposeful prayer on the part of the servant. I know that both you and Craig have prayed
faithfully for direction in every step of your relationship and that you both
know that it is God who has led you to each other. Just as Rebekah was a kinswoman from
Abraham’s extended family so you and Craig both understand the importance of
being equally yoked as part of God’s family.
I would also point out that even though Rebekah and Isaac had never met
they chose to be together showing that love is a much an action as it is an
emotion. They chose to trust that God
would to be with them as they learned to be man and wife. In fact, in a time and a culture where it was not
uncommon for a man to have more than one wife, Isaac chose to be faithful to only Rebekah
for their entire lives.
In the life of Abraham, God asked him to leave his homeland
with his flocks and his wife Sarah and to travel to a new land where God
promised him great blessings. It must
have been very hard for Sarah to leave behind her family and her life to follow
Abraham into a new place just as I know it has been difficult for you to think
about leaving your Elim family and friends and heading to a new church home and
a new ministry.
I remember Aquila and Priscilla from the book of Acts. You remember we studied about them together
last year? They were early missionaries
in the church, working with Paul as tent makers and providing him a home and a
refuge as he preached the gospel in Corinth.
They opened their home as a meeting place for early Christians and
shared their hospitality and their faith with others. That’s what you and Craig will be doing in
your new church and your new home. You
have always had an enormous gift for hospitality Cathe that I know will be a
true blessing in your new ministry.
Priscilla and Aquila personify the knowledge that two are stronger than
one and the wonderful difference a couple can make when they are like minded in
service to the Lord.
As I looked at just these few couples, I can see how God has
been working in you and Craig’s lives.
He has known and planned for the two of you to be together from the time
he created you. It has been a joy for
all of us here, as we have watched you experience a romantic new love. I
think he still has many new and wonderful experiences and good surprises ahead
for the two of you. And He will be with
you and in you as the two of you begin this new life together.
I leave you with this last verse from Ecclesiastes 4:12 which
is one that you both know and are already living.
"Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. But a cord of three strands is not quickly
Let Us Pray: