A Living Illustration

John is grIaciously typing this blog post as I dictate to him from bed. Because I cannot type this entry myself, I will not include Scripture quotes or references — doing so would be difficult to teach John. Please don’t interpret this absence of Scripture as an abandonment of God’s Word.

Many nights I lay in bed half praying and half thinking. As someone who struggles with insomnia, I spend many hours in this lovely state of vacillation — and usually it pleases me. Throughout the years, my thoughts have covered a wide variety of topics ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, and often the ridiculous wins out.,

In recent weeks, my nighttime meditations have been a little sublime as I pray for the man sleeping next to me. Usually I begin by thanking the Lord that I am married at all. That gratitude morphs into a time of reflecting on the kind of husband that John is, provoking even greater gratitude.

My nighttime thoughts lack the discipline of an essay, weaving in and out of my mind with little structure or logic. For awhile, I might think of how much John does to bless me. Of his gentleness as he feeds me lunch, or of his tenacity in working to find PCAs to help me. Of the fun we’ve had driving our wheelchairs throughout Boston, and of the ways we make each laugh. In these precious thoughts, I often praise God for bringing me a man who loves me so thoroughly and unselfishly as John does.

More and more, I think of how undeserving I am of John’s love. Just on the physical level, my dependency on him overwhelms me, and I wonder why he wants a woman like me. In addition, I think of all my sinful habits and attitudes that must exasperate him. Why would he want to be married to such a selfish, wretched woman who can’t even cook a decent dinner?

But isn’t that like the Lord and His love for His bride? I believe so! Although Jesus gives us His righteousness, we are still a wretched bride with nothing lovely in and of ourselves. Any beauty we may have comes from His Holy Spirit transforming us. Jesus loves us, but not because we have anything to attract or offer Him. His love demonstrates His goodness and mercy.

Ezekiel 16 depicts God’s love for Israel in precisely this manner. God portrays Himself as passing a discarded fetus that is barely alive, squirming in own blood and afterbirth. Mercifully, He picks her up, bathes her and raises her to be a splendid princess clothed in fine linen. She is beautiful because of His love for her, not because of anything she is or does.

Christ shows that same love to His bride, the Church. Each member of the Church is wretched by nature, possessing nothing that would warrant His attention. Before He saved us, we lived in rebellion toward Him, sometimes blatantly hating Him and always violating His commands. Yet through His Spirit, He gives us new life and fashions us into His Bride. He even calls us spotless and blameless! In our most honest moments we must marvel at His love for us.

The Lord has blessed me with a doting husband, and I certainly praise Him for putting me in this marriage. But I don’t want to see my marriage as an end in itself. I believe God has allowed me to marry John so that I could have a glimpse into Christ’s powerful love for His Church. John may have faults (none of which I will disclose), but he is a constant reminder of God’s love for a people who don’t deserve His love.

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2 thoughts on “A Living Illustration

  1. “A Living Illustration”
    Amen. I think the same about my own husband. (And thank God!) What a glorious display of God’s love for His children.


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