Wedding Symbolism

The marriage covenant is an eternal promise based on the truth of God’s Word, rooted in Christ’s love, and centered on His steadfast character.

*Marriage as a picture of the Gospel relationship:
The Bible teaches that marriage was designed by God to be a picture of the relationship Jesus has with those who love Him (Ephesians 5:29-33).  Each of us has turned away from right relationship with the God who loves us.  God’s Law, the Ten Commandments, clearly reveals our selfishness.  By loving others more than the LORD, lying, hating, lusting, and refusing to forgive, we have pushed ourselves away from relationship with Him.  
If we come to God trying to earn His love or to deserve a place in Heaven because of our good works, we will never know Him.  Our sin has separated us from Jesus, and we deserve only God’s judgment in Hell.  However, He wants us to experience His love and a close relationship with Jesus that marriage was designed to depict.
The good news is that Jesus, God in the flesh, came to earth.  He lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead!  As a Groom coming to claim His bride, Jesus will come again for all those who have turned from sin and put their trust in Him.  Jesus gave His lifeblood because of His desire to become united with those He loves.  He paid the bride price with His own life.  Husbands likewise are called to serve their wives by dying to themselves and sacrificing for the good of their wives. Wives are called to respond in self-giving love by cooperating with their husbands – that together the couple might be ministry partners for the Master.
Jesus calls you today to join His Bride, the Church. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that He may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you, Jesus” (Acts 3:19-20).  Jesus has promised to return to bring His Bride home to be with Him forever.  Are you in right relationship with God?  Have you fully trusted your heart and life to Jesus?  In an act of bold love, He invites you to do so today.

 

assorted signage decors
Photo by Craig Adderley
*Bridal party walking down the center aisle in participation:
Walking down the center aisle is based on a tradition from the Bible.  The LORD made a promise to bless Abraham, who was a forefather of Jesus Christ.  In Genesis 15:9-21, the LORD instructed Abraham to sacrifice several animals, cutting them in half and laying them on the ground.  Two parties making a covenant would confirm their agreement by walking between these two halves of an offering that had been split in two.  In Genesis 15, only the LORD walked down the center aisle, because it was His sole responsibility to unconditionally uphold His promise to Abraham’s descendants.  Abraham was asleep.  We walk down the center aisle today as a symbol of involvement, either as participants or witnesses, in this marriage covenant.
*Vows as terms of our covenant:
In the Bible, the LORD made many promises to His people.  God is always faithful, perfectly upholding His vows to love and provide.  In Exodus 20, after the LORD delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, God and His people exchanged vows.  We call these vows the Ten Commandments.  In verse 1, He begins by stating who He is and reminding His people that He set them free from their bondage.  The ten commands that follow are the vows that His loved ones promised to uphold in the relationship that they would enjoy with their God.  Today, the New Testament provides many examples of promises that the Lord Jesus made to His Bride, the Church.  Our vows today are the terms of our life-long covenant relationship with each other.

 

love rings wedding bible
Photo by Caio
*Rings as visual symbols of our lifetime commitment:
We have chosen to exchange circular wedding rings as a continual sign of our marriage, serving both to announce to others and to remind us of our vows.  A circle is a shape without starting or ending point.  It symbolizes the eternal nature of God, who is without beginning or end.  The Trinity – the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – has always existed and always will (Genesis 1:26).  This eternal God created marriage (Genesis 2:18-25; Matthew 19:4-6).  He empowers us to remain faithful in our marriage, as He has first been faithful to us.  1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.” 
*Salt covenant as a sign of irreversible partnership:
In biblical times, when two people wanted to make a covenant promise of loyalty, each would take some salt from a pouch carried on the belt and sprinkle it into the other’s pouch.  Both would then shake their pouches, intermingling forever the grains of salt.  Just as the individual grains of salt could never be taken back, their covenant would never be broken.  The LORD also included salt in covenants that He made with His people (Leviticus 2:13; Numbers 18:19; 2 Chronicles 13:5).

 

bright burn burnt candle
*Unity candle as a symbol of our new united family:
The Bible records that Eve first introduced sin’s darkness into the human heart (Genesis 3:6).  However, God also brought Jesus Christ, the Light of the world, through a descendant of Eve, a woman named Mary (John 8:12; 9:5; Luke 1:30-35).  As followers of Jesus, we have been called by Christ to be light in this world (Matthew 5:14-16).  Because they brought us into the world, we have chosen to have our biological mothers light candles representing all of our family relationships.  In a beautiful way, we leave and cleave to each other, forming a new family of our own, which includes our extended families.  The unity candle in the center represents this union of two people and two lives joined by Jesus Christ to become one.

 

heart shaped candle
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Five reasons we’re committed to purity

We wait for acceptance letters, job postings, and a baby’s first word. I’ve been waiting and trusting Jesus for a life partner. It was when I learned to rest that He brought me my Eve (Gn. 2:21-22). 


As we prepare for marriage, she and I have established physical boundaries for our purity. We want to share five reasons that we’re committed to upholding these. No matter where you find yourself in this journey of life and love, we pray these underpinning principles will help you.

First, the marriage covenant is the divinely designed context for sexual intimacy. The Lord Jesus created sex to deeply unite husband and wife and to produce children (Jn. 1:3). Children are a reward from the LORD (Ps. 127:3). The lifelong commitment of marriage liberates a couple to be utterly intimate and to make babies. Wedding vows promise future offspring the protection of a father and mother. Jesus commands we wait. His way is the best way.

Second, we are here on this earth to minister the Gospel to unbelievers. The Lord Jesus left His followers with a clear commission to make Him known. His pure Gospel flows most freely from a clean vessel. We preach in the open air that Jesus considers lust adultery in the heart (Mt. 5:28). We share in witnessing conversations that we must repent and trust Christ. Hence, we must also live unadulterated lives of repentance.

Third, our lifestyle sets an example for believers (1 Tim. 4:12). Over the course of our life together, we will influence multitudes. Some look up to us. I’m the oldest sibling of four. My sisters and brother expect me to model Biblical dating for them. Others just notice in passing. We want our example of pure love to point onlookers to Jesus.

Fourth, we refuse to show disdain for God’s grace and mercy. When we least expected it, Jesus graciously bound our hearts together. He’s mercifully protected us thus far. He has poured boundless favor on us through our relationship. He’s revealed to me afresh the passion He has for His Bride—His sacrificial love for the Church. Refusing to wait for intimacy would spit in the face of what He is doing.

Fifth, we honor one another’s convictions. We prayed and fasted together. We drafted physical boundaries separately. When we met to share, whoever had the higher standard set the bar. Guarding each other’s hearts and consciences is an utmost priority. We must be unhindered as we run this race (Heb. 12:1).

Before you enlist to hold us accountable, allow me to issue a challenge. As you wait upon the LORD, consider your personal standards. Have you defined what you will and won’t do? Do you know what foundation your convictions rest upon? Remember it is for freedom that Christ has set us free (Gal. 5:1). If we’ve been freed from sin, we live in it no longer (Rom. 6). I pray our reasons will embolden you in your pursuit of purity. Holiness is His way. As we surrender to Jesus, His Spirit empowers us to walk as He did.

Did God really say…?

“Did God really say…?” hissed the slimy serpent with fork tongue tickling the ears of the unsuspecting beauty. Tantalized, Eve smiled and was deceived. Adam stood nearby, watching wide-eyed. Knowing the consequences, he willfully believed the lie and ate the forbidden fruit.


That snake is still whispering sugarcoated lies. Satan, the deceiver, loves to take a little bite of truth and coat it with venomous deception.

Eve should have responded, “No! I will not stand in judgment over God’s Word. You’re twisting and perverting what He said! His Word is my final authority.”

Instead Eve took the devil’s bait and deemed herself the authority to decide between God’s Word and the devil’s word. She was unconcerned with the specifics of God’s Word and their application to her practice. The serpent had gotten the general gist of what the LORD had spoken. Eve chose to believe an outside source above the direct revelation of God. She decided she knew better than the LORD.

Professing Christians fall into the same trap by claiming to love and honor the Bible and then disobeying it. When you allow the lens of your human experience to define your interpretation of His Word, you allow external sources to trump God’s utterances. 

This fleshes out all over Christian belief and practice. Concerning spiritual gifts, “normal” is what we experience in America and not what the Bible describes. Some explain away the Biblical doctrine of a literal, physical Hell, because it’s unpleasant to think and preach about. And the Biblical mandate to pursue holiness is forgotten by those, who claim, “Well, we’ll always fall into sin, right?” For the sake of the golden calf, pragmatism, many deny the authority of the Word. The question “Does it work?” is asked more often than “Does it please Jesus?”

I’ll zero in on a specific example. Learn the principle, and apply it to all areas of your life.

“Did God really say, ‘Share your faith with the woman sitting next to you’?” hissed the serpent to the Christian on the El train. After all, you haven’t established a relationship. She hasn’t observed your lifestyle. She might be offended.

True, the Bible urges believers to genuinely relate to others as human beings. People are treasures—created in the Image of God—not projects. In the context of a witnessing conversation, the Bible models asking questions and listening (Acts 8:30-35). Genuinely care. Don’t prepare your rebuttal while others speak. Listen.

Evangelism isn’t true to its definition unless it includes using words to directly share the good news of the Gospel. Evangel means, “good news.” Our excuse that we’re sharing through our lifestyle doesn’t hold a thimbleful of water. We’ve allowed a deception to climb into bed with us.

“You’ve got to wait at least two months before you share the Gospel,” hissed the serpent. That’s absurd! Christ is my life. I can’t go two minutes without mentioning the Name of Jesus!

Remember Paul? He became all things to all people that by all possible means he might save some (1 Cor. 9:22-23). It’s because of Paul’s active, verbal witness to the Gentiles that most of us non-Jews have access to the Gospel today. Paul preached in the open-air at the Areopagus meeting, he had Gospel conversations on public transport, he shared Jesus at family gatherings, he wrote and distributed Gospel literature.

Most people recognize genuine concern. Sometimes it’s surprising to receive it, but most often, people love to be loved. Showing concern for someone’s eternal salvation in a Gospel conversation is an expression of the most excellent way (1 Cor. 12:31; 13).

You’re not loving, if you let someone go to Hell unwarned. You don’t really have your eyes fixed on Jesus, if you don’t see people as valuable and in need of Christ. Charles Spurgeon said, “Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.”

There’s a small nugget of truth in relational evangelism. But according to Mark Cahill, 88% of witnessing conversations in the New Testament were with strangers (www.markcahill.org). You may not know how to share your faith. If you’re a believer, the Holy Spirit in you will drive you to learn how. He’ll teach you about Jesus and guide you into all truth (Jn. 16:13-14).

Believe the truth of the Bible—God’s literal, inerrant, authoritative Word—above all methods, ideas, and doctrines of men or devils no matter how “pleasing to the eye and good for food” they may appear (Gen. 2:9).

(Visit www.WayoftheMaster.com — an evangelism ministry that the Lord Jesus has used to better equip me in Christ-like, Biblical witnessing.)