Trevor Marsteller and I joined hands in the stately building of Missio Church on October 3 and covenanted before God and man to love each other ’til death do us part. We returned the following morning and held hands in a pew near the front as we listened to the Word of God preached to the people of God.
Many of these people were incredulous: “You’re on your honeymoon, and you’re at church?!” We might as well have sprouted horns on our heads.
“You’re on your honeymoon, and you’re at church?!”
If it had been up to me, I probably would’ve opted to pull the covers over my head and dozed as long as possible after the stress of pulling off an event of that size. Missing a Sunday here or there hasn’t seemed like a big deal to me, especially after such a life-altering event.
But Trevor is the leader in this relationship—not me—and when he explained why he didn’t want to skip church the day after our wedding, I was so grateful.
“If marriage is an earthly picture of a heavenly reality,” he asked, “why would we miss out on being pointed to that heavenly reality?”
And so we participated in our local church service the morning after our wedding—as we do every Sunday, even when we’re traveling. We showed up not because we believe church attendance merits God’s favor (hardly!) or sets us apart as more righteous than others (as if!), but because we love God, His Word, and His people.
Caring for the Bride of Christ
In a congregational meeting a few weeks later, one of our elders reminded us of how passionately Jesus identifies with His bride, the Church.
It was amazing to see this truth so clearly in Acts 9. In this passage, Jesus asks Saul, “Why are you persecuting me?”
When Saul asks who Jesus is, He again reiterates, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” (emphasis added).
How could Jesus say Saul was persecuting Him when He was safe at His Father’s side in heaven by this time (see Acts 1:9)? Because as we treat Christ’s people, so we treat Christ.
As we treat Christ’s people, so we treat Christ.
Christ’s very Spirit dwells in His bride, and His bride is in Christ. We’re one now. He loved His bride enough to give His life for her.
So how can we claim to love Jesus without caring for His bride, the Church?
After hearing God’s Word preached on October 4, Trevor and I leaned over to each other and agreed, “We’re so glad we didn’t miss this.”
It might not always be convenient, but this new bride is grateful for a husband who so highly values Christ’s bride.
How about you? Do you have a careless or a careful disposition toward faithfully and eagerly attending your local church? If you don’t regularly attend, what’s your excuse for not prioritizing Christ’s bride?
We Went to Church on Our Honeymoon was originally published on TrueWoman.com.