Today, July 22, 2020, Lindsay and I have been married 20 years. I love my bride, and usually take time each year to publicly proclaim said love to the internet. She’s truly a blessing from the Lord—as a co-laborer, friend, mother, and human being (see here for more on that).
We have had the blessing of two decades of joyful union. Every marriage has its challenges. We’ve had a few bumps, but no crises. I attribute that to Lindsay’s patience and servant’s heart. God has been gracious to me in Lindsay.
When I think about the joy I’ve experienced in our marriage, I am reminded of the fact that marital bliss is a foreshadowing of the joy we will experience forever with Jesus. At the end of John’s vision in Revelation he describes the blessing of the marriage feast at the uniting of Jesus with his bride:
Then he said to me, “Write: Blessed are those invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb!”-Revelation 19:9
The beauty of a bride, and the joy of a marriage are little glimpses of the beauty of God’s work in salvation and the joy of eternal life. Even the bride’s wedding dress is a picture of the purity of the church (Rev. 19:6-7). The love in our marriage is a picture of the love of God for us (Eph. 5:22-33). The covenant basis of our marriage is a picture of the covenant relationship we have with God established by Jesus’ shed blood. The forgiveness we show each other in marriage is a picture of Jesus’ forgiveness of the church.
Jonathan Edwards describes the beginning of eternity with Christ in light of Revelation 19 and the marriage picture with a focus on joy:
This shall be the day of the gladness of Christ’s heart, wherein he will greatly rejoice, and all the saints shall rejoice with him. Christ shall rejoice over his bride, and the bride shall rejoice in her husband, in the state of her consummate and everlasting blessedness.-Jonathan Edwards
I’m looking forward to the next two decades and beyond with my bride. We will no doubt endure the normal challenges of marriage in a broken world. At the same time, we will experience more love and joy and blessing. The best part is, those gifts from the Lord are just a taste of what’s to come.