God likes weddings

Throughout the Old Testament, God referred to His people as His wife. The prophets are full of references about Israel's marriage to God (although many times it was one of infidelity). Jesus' first miracle was performed at a wedding. And then we come to this week's passage in Matthew 22 where Jesus uses a wedding to teach some great spiritual truths. One of the conclusions I draw from all this is pretty simple: God likes weddings.

My question is ... why? I don't think it's the appetizers or dessert bar. I'm pretty sure it's not the flowers. And I doubt it's the self-composed vows. I think God likes weddings for a couple of reasons. Some of the them are basic — I believe God likes to see people come together. Whether in community as friends or in marriage, God is about togetherness rather than separateness. In fact, we can say that from God's perspective, isolation rarely results in good; community often does.

But I think there's another reason why God likes weddings. He likes them because weddings are supposed to be a walking, talking, living, breathing illustration of the relationship between His Son and the church. Paul points it out explicitly in Ephesians 5, saying that a marriage really isn't about a man or a woman. It's about Christ and the church. Ideally, the way it's supposed to happen, when someone looks at a marriage of Christ-followers, they ought to be able to see the relationship between Christ and the church lived out and demonstrated. They should see selfless love, forever commitment, and complete intimacy.

That last part sort of catches my eye, too, because I think the intimacy factor is why God chose marriage — all throughout the Bible — to be the everyday illustration of His relationship to His people. Marriage is meant to be the most intimate of relationships, where one person fully knows and is fully known by another. There is meant to be no shame as the two people live together in total honesty, and ... well, nakedness. Funny to say, but true.

Such is God's desire for His people. He wants such a drastic level of intimacy with us — a naked relationship — that really the only way to fully picture it is through marriage. Just a few things to think on this week as you walk through "The One with the Invitations."

Michael lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Jana, and kids, Joshua, Andi, and Christian. He grew up in Texas and earned a Master of Divinity at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama. He has written The Tough Sayings of Jesus Volumes I & II, travels throughout the year speaking to students and young adults, and blogs daily at michaelkelleyministries.com.

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