My son Tim recently married his fiancée Randi and it was a glorious day. There they were, standing at the wedding altar in front of the friends and family who had gathered, exchanging vows and committing their lives to one another. The moment was both joyful and sacred. Here you had a bride promising love and loyalty to a groom; and a groom promising to always care for and cherish his bride.
Now imagine if, immediately after the preacher pronounced them man and wife, Randi went back to her house and continued living life basically the same as she always had before. Then, whenever she remembered her commitment and new relationship with Tim, she went to the local bookstore and bought a new book (or two) about him so she could read it to get to know him better.
As part of her new marriage to Tim, since she was never around him personally and rarely even talked to him, she sought out teachers who were experts on Tim so she could ask them questions about him—what was he like, where did he come from, how could she please him, etc., etc. These teachers recommended she come to a series of classes during the week that they were offering to learn more.
For some reason though, Randi still didn’t feel like she was really connecting with Tim so she decided to talk to even more people who she thought had known Tim longer than she had and she hung around them hoping to learn something but the funny thing was they rarely talked about Tim. When they did, it was usually to ask her to attend more meetings and classes where various Tim teachers were teaching.
Over the years Randi discovered Tim music stations where people sang about him, Tim talk radio stations where people taught about him, Tim-focused conventions and retreats that she could go to, and Women’s conference’s where different people spoke about their experiences with Tim. But even after all this Randi still didn’t feel she really knew Tim. What could possibly be the problem?
Fortunately Tim and Randi’s relationship is not at all as I described, but what a shame it would be if it were. It would be a most unusual love story. Ironically, it’s precisely what many of us do in our relationships with God. Think it through carefully and I believe you will find the allegory above matches perfectly with the typical conversion of the typical Christian and the life that follows.
We are the bride of Christ and He is our Groom. Throughout the bible the relationship between God and us is described primarily in two ways—that of a parent and child, and that of a groom and his bride. God chose to use these real life examples because they illustrate how things are positionally as well as how they should be relationally. A right relationship with God starts with: time with Him.