A wedding is an event; the marriage is an endurance race. As parts of the bride of Christ, we should plan ahead for the time beyond the “I do” of baptism to the daily walk with our Bridegroom. A glimpse into the lives of the 1st Century Christians can help us in the 21st Century.
I. Acts 2:42-47. How long would a marriage last if after the honeymoon, the bride returned to her single life and only spent an hour with her husband once a week? There’s much we can learn from the early church’s devotion to their new life. In western culture, we are in the habit of scheduling time with Jesus along with the other things that we do. But, a marriage is not something we can schedule. It is through our relationship with Christ that we live our lives.
II. 1 Timothy 2:1-6. Just as newly married soldiers in Israel were to stay home to work on the devotion to their wives (Deuteronomy 24:5), new Christians especially need to work on their relationship with Christ through their devotion to learning from God’s Word, serving with fellow Christians, remembering Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection through the Lord’s Supper, and praying as Christ desires all to come to salvation (Acts 2:42).
III. Ephesians 5:31-33. And, of course, as the years go by, all couples need to maintain their marriages through such things as retreats, date nights, and good communication. These keep their oneness from splitting back into two individuals again. The formula that Christ and His bride use is sacrificial love and obedient respect. This takes work as well as devotion in our spiritual walk to do the things that benefit ‘we’ and not just ‘me’ (Acts 2:43-47).
Rather than treating our Christianity as a checklist, we should seek to do those things that a good friend or spouse would do with our Bridegroom to have a loving and lasting relationship.