Just exactly what makes a relationship Christ-Centred? Just what exactly makes a relationship God-pleasing? Does it mean ensuring all the dos are done and abstaining from all the don’ts? Or does it encompass much more than that?
Building the perfect relationship will require us to look into the Bible from Christ’s perspective. Close analysis of the scriptures will show us that the Bible is pretty much a love-story of the not-yet-married Christ. It tells us of how Christ gave Himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word, and to present her to Himself as a radiant Church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but Holy and blameless (Ephesians 5:25-27, NIV). He did all of these in preparation for the wedding day (Revelations 19:7-8). This love story is filled with anger (Exodus 4:14), regret, disappointment, (Genesis 6:6), anguish, sweat (Luke 22:44), tears (John 11:35), joy (John 17:13), glory (John 17:22), love (John 17:23), and anticipation of unification through marriage (Revelation 21:9).
However, for Christ, He did not focus on Himself and neither did He focus on His Bride-to-be. Throughout His entire relationship with His bride-to-be, He did nothing on His own but speak only what the Father taught Him to (John 8:28). He was focused only on doing the will of the Father and not His own (John 6:38). He was focused on God because He saw the ultimate glory that was to come – the unification of the Church, and the subsequent marriage that will join the Church to the Father through Christ (John 17:23-24). He too knew exactly how His bride-to-be was created, and what God planned for them in eternity. Everywhere He looked, He saw only God the Father .
For many, the idea of God taking center-place in a relationship is a rather confusing concept. But if we were to refer back to how Christ dotes His bride-to-be, we will be able to see the connection between the Father, Christ, and the bride-to-be. With this connection established, the Father now takes center place in the relationship. Every thought, decision, and action, within the relationship is now centered on God the Father.
With this, I will attempt to present the ways Jesus date His bride-to-be and through this, bring out pointers in which we can all learn from Him.
In Choosing a Girlfriend and Staying Faithful; Your Girlfriend’s Beauty Depends on You:
Ever heard of the idea of “love at first sight”? It is not a recent phenomenon. Rather, it is rooted in the hearts of every human being. Arranged marriage too, may have found its origin from God’s Kingdom when God the Father created the universe and humankind for and through Christ . Now, we all know that this bride-to-be is a fallen sinner. She, in every way possible, has fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This made God deeply troubled and many times, disgusted. Not only is she not pretty, every inclination of the thoughts in her heart is evil (Genesis 6:5).
Not only is the bride of Christ not pretty, every inclination of the thoughts in her heart is evil. But Christ did not focus His attention on her sins. He was focused on her sanctification.
But Christ did not focus His attention on her sins. He was focused on her sanctification. Christ knew her sins and her wrongdoings. Christ knew everything that is in her mind (Matthew 9:4); the hatred she has developed for Him and the unfaithfulness that comes along with it. But He did not forsake her. In fact, He chose to humble Himself till the point of death (Philippians 2:8) to provide recompense to repay each one for what they have done (Revelations 22:12, ESV).
Now the point here is this, you can choose anyone to be your girlfriend as long as she is in the Lord (1 Corinthians 7:39). However, once you have chosen someone and have committed to her, do not seek to be released (1 Corinthians 7:27). Regardless of who you choose, it is entirely up to you to shape her (Ephesians 5:26-27) into the most beautiful being on earth (Proverbs 31:30); and you will be able to do so because it is a command from God.
Just as Christ sanctify and clean His bride-to-be with the washing of water with the Word of God in preparation for the big day, so must you. And if need be, boyfriends are to pay the price for your girlfriend’s folly, speaking in love and pointing her to the truth in Christ. No girl will be perfect for you. The Church was not and is still not the perfect bride-to-be for Christ, but He remained faithful to her, nourishing and teaching her with the Holy Spirit.
You are to nourish your girlfriend through the cleansing of the Word of God and she will grow to be the most beautiful person you will ever know.
But we are not Christ, and this girl will never be perfect in this life. But she will be. We will all be united in Christ on the day of the Lord. And on that day, we will all be perfect in Christ. But before that, she will be nourished in your love. And through the cleansing of the word of God, she will grow to be the most beautiful person you will ever know.
Jesus was never short of prayers for His bride-to-be. In fact, almost all of His prayers are for her. Even the Lord’s prayer is centered on teaching his bride-to-be to look to the Lord. When Jesus was on earth, He prayed that His bride-to-be will be One with the Father and Himself (John 17:23). He prayed for His bride-to-be to be happy (John 17:13). He prayed that the Father will forgive her (Luke 23:34). And even now when Jesus is at the right hand of God, He is interceding for her (Romans 8:34).
It is through prayers that God the Father led Jesus to do what He ought to do, teach what He ought to teach, and love the way He ought to love.
It is through prayers, God the Father led Jesus to do what He ought to do, teach what He ought to teach, and love the way He ought to love. Even till the end, Jesus prayed to God to remove the cup of suffering but sought to only obey the will of God (Matthew 26:39). He knew exactly what needs to be done because He was led by the Father, through prayers. Through prayers, the Father led Christ to pay the price of her ignorance and selfishness, so that we may be reconciled with Him (2 Corinthians 5:19).
Just as Christ committed His bride-to-be in prayers, are we committing our girlfriends, fiancée, or wife in prayers? Praying that she may grow in love for you and for Christ, that she may be One with God, that she may know God, that she may walk in ways that are pleasing to the Lord, that God may forgive her trespasses, and that God may reconcile her to Himself?
Are you constantly giving thanks to Christ for what He has done for both of you? Are the two of you joyfully anticipating the future gift of being with Him?
Did your girlfriend do something that totally disappointed you and caused you great hurt? God knows exactly how this feels like. And in prayers, He will guide you to do what you need to do, forgive her while she’s still in the wrong, and guide her back to God.
Everything that we do is to lead people to God. And in relationships, we as men should lead our girlfriends, fiancée, or wife to God. Though Jesus loved the Church, His focus was still on the Father and what the Father wanted to do. The ultimate focus is on the reconciliation with God, the way the Father wants it to be. When dealing with a broken relationship, Jesus constantly looked to God for guidance and help. Like Christ, we should look to God for guidance and wisdom to deal with our broken relationships. And unlike Jesus who had to pay the price for sin, Jesus had forgiven our other halves before we do. This calls for a change in method of love.
Unlike Jesus who had to pay the price for sin, Jesus had forgiven our other halves before we do.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30, NIV).
Throughout the entire episode when Christ was on earth, Christ did not do what He wanted. Rather, all He did were instructed and guided by God. God was in control of the entire relationship. And because God was in control, He enabled reconciliation of the Church to Himself.
How are we leading our earthly relationships? Is God in control of our earthly relationships? Are we doing things to satisfy our earthly desires? Or are we guided by the Spirit, nourishing her, cleansing her, loving her the way Christ loved us, and pointing her to God?
In Holy Anticipation:
Marriage seems to be the central theme of the gospel that unites the Church to Christ and the Father. From the creation of the World through Christ and for Christ (Colossians 1:16), to the ultimate consummation that ends in the marriage of the lamb (Revelations 22:17), the focus of God can very clearly be seen as a work of reconciliation and unification.
The entire priestly prayer of John 17 has an overarching theme of glorification, and complete unification of Christ and the Church. One can feel the deep longing of Christ to be with His chosen people – the bride – in His prayer and throughout His entire earthly ministry.
“Father, I want those You have given Me to be with Me where I am, and to see My glory, the glory You have given Me because You loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24, NIV)
In Jesus’ teachings, He is constantly warning people of His impending return. And while He is preparing for His eventual return, He is purposefully delaying because He wishes that all come to repentance and none shall perish (2 Peter 3:9). His delay is salvation and was done out of love for us (2 Peter 3:15). In other words, the longer He waited, the more He is graceful towards us.
Christ knew how good the end will be (Revelations 21:3-4). He also knows how to pamper His bride. In fact, He really cannot wait to be with her! The theme of “I am coming soon” echoed throughout the gospels. And in the last book of the Bible itself, Christ has repeated it three times (Revelations 22:7, 12, 20).
Jesus will guide you to make all the right decisions in your relationship that will accumulate to become the perfect wedding that will mirror His ultimate marriage in heaven.
Boyfriends, are you anticipating your wedding day? Are you preparing for the day? Are you nurturing her and cleansing her so that she will be at her best on that day? Is marriage constantly in your prayers? Jesus will guide you to make all the right decisions in your relationship that will accumulate to become the perfect wedding that will mirror His ultimate marriage in heaven.
 – I explored the idea of how Christ saw only God the Father in her bride-to-be in “Forming the Perfect Family Part 1 – The Reason Behind Christ’s Salvation”.
 – I have explored the idea of how God created the universe and everything in it for Christ in “Forming the Perfect Family Part 1 – The Reason Behind Christ’s Salvation”.