If you’re anything like me, you grew up hoping for your happily ever after. I probably watched a few too many Disney fairy tales, or maybe I’m simply a romantic at heart. Needless to say, I looked forward to the day I would meet my prince charming and become his beautiful bride. Perhaps this is one of the reasons God calls us the bride of Christ throughout Scripture. It’s a relationship many of us long for and can relate to. And unlike this life with all of its flaws and imperfections, it’s a happily ever after we can rely on to come true.
So what does it really mean to be the bride of Christ? This beautiful analogy gives us a small glimpse of the love God has for us. It also speaks volumes about what happens to us when we are born again.
Think of it this way… Would God really allow His Son to marry anything less than perfection?
Here are 4 ways to be ready for the wedding feast:
Say “yes” to the proposal.
There’s only one requirement to becoming someone’s bride – saying “yes” to the proposal. Have you said “yes” to Jesus? Will you be His bride? As cliché as it sounds, it’s true. All we have to do is say “yes.”
Keep in mind, wearing a white dress and fixing your hair does not make you a bride. Saying “yes” to your groom is what makes you a bride. Many of us try to doll ourselves up to look like a bride with good deeds and accomplishments. But showing up to a wedding with a wedding dress on doesn’t make you the bride. You must have a relationship with the groom.
Allow the Holy Spirit to transform you into a worthy bride.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. – Ephesians 5:25-27
How glorious it will be when we are presented to King Jesus as a pure and spotless bride! Not even a wrinkle in our gown! No imperfections of any kind!
This is what happens when we are born again. The Holy Spirit transforms us from the inside out. It’s this transformation that allows us to be worthy of marriage to the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Put on the dress.
Every woman knows that the proposal is just the beginning. Being a bride and preparing for the wedding are two completely different things! We become a bride when we say “yes,” but no bride shows up on her wedding day wearing rags. We put on the dress, and we doll ourselves up.
As the bride of Christ, we need to prepare ourselves and be ready for the wedding feast. Revelation 19:7-8 tells us that the bride is given “the finest of pure white linen to wear.” And this linen represents “the good deeds of God’s holy people.”
If our fine linens are good deeds, then it is through holy, obedient lives that we prepare ourselves for our groom.
I should make one thing clear: We don’t earn the status of “bride” by doing good deeds. Putting on the dress is something we do in response to the proposal… it’s not how we become a bride. There are no hoops to jump through. There are no rituals. Becoming the bride of Christ simply means we’ve said “yes” to Jesus.
Our good deeds, our obedience, our pure lives are simply ways that we prepare for eternity with our groom. We strive to be holy as He is holy. And we do it all for Him – our groom.
Spend time with the groom.
It seems silly to point this out, but most of us want to marry someone we’ve actually spent time with! The more time with spend with Jesus before meeting Him face to face, the more rewarding it will be when we finally do. As the bride of Christ, we’ll one day be with Him and because of the cross, we’ll be a worthy bride.
Never forget all that Jesus went through to make us His bride. It’s a love story unlike any other. Our Messiah made it His mission to rescue us from darkness so that He could transform us into His beautiful bride – the picture of perfection.
Prepare. Be ready. Jesus will return for His bride…
By Alyssa Howard
Featuring in June’s edition of Single Talk