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A thought on how we celebrate WITH our Bride-Groom

Discussion in 'Discipleship: Following Jesus' started by Aaron Rich, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. Aaron Rich

    Aaron Rich New Member

    How much do you learn about God from your marriage? How about from your other important relationships? There are some incredible things you can learn by simply paying attention.

    I got married a few years ago to my beautiful wife who has turned out to be the single biggest blessing in my life – beyond anything I could have imagined. We skipped the wedding and went to the judge because we didn’t want to waste the money on a single extravagant day that would quickly fade into a distant memory, nor did we want to spend the time waiting to marry each other while we went through the months long process of planning a wedding. Our love was blossoming into a new stage of life and we wanted to get started on our new adventure of marriage as soon as possible. We got engaged in February and married in early April.

    Instead of the wedding, we opted to pay for a nice long honeymoon instead. We love to travel anyway so we went a bit overboard and spend a long 10 days in Hawaii. It was glamorous! Our time there created memories that will remain with me forever.

    When we got home, we settled into life. The daily duties and expectations of modern life quickly took its place and we moved forward in our marriage together. It didn’t take long to do as most men do – I started to take my wife for granted. We were floating through life with each other, but we weren’t necessarily growing with each other.

    Reality began to sink in, too. It didn’t take more than a year before we realized that our hurry to marry landed us in one of the worst months possible for my wife’s work schedule and our annual celebrations became hard. April is a time of year where she routinely works sun up to sun down. I get to simply say good morning and usually, I also get to say good night before I go to bed at 10. Yes, her days are routinely that long during the month of April. At the time, back then, she would routinely work 7 days a week, too. I’m sure you can imagine, but those sorts of hours tend to stretch a person’s faculties and energy levels. This creates a great challenge in planning a celebratory dinner, let alone a weekend getaway or a long trip on our milestone anniversaries.

    This went on for several years until it got to the point where I made a suggestion to her. We had rushed into our wedding date and didn’t think it through, so I suggested that we collectively decide on a different date during the year that would be better to celebrate it. “Let’s just celebrate it in June,” I suggested.

    Folks, without a picture, it’s hard to explain what came next. The shock, offense and pain that I saw on my wife’s face will never leave my mind. I inflicted a wound so deep that I often wonder if she dwells on my heartless behavior in her alone time. She was utterly devastated that I would so quickly abandon our anniversary date and haphazardly move it to another day during the year.

    Sometime later we hit our first marital brick wall – mostly due to my taking my wife for granted, though she certainly takes some of the blame too. We leaned into God and moved through our first big bump in the road and I think it was about that time that I started reflecting on all the wrongs I had committed toward my wife – my goof with the anniversary date being one of them.

    It was at that point a light bulb began to flicker in my head. It still took a couple of good years to really get bright though.

    I absolutely love my wife. She is by far the most extravagant gift that God could have ever given me and I pray that she feels the same about me. She is without doubt, my best friend. Every minute I get to spend in a room with her, even if we’re ignoring each other reading books or doing some other separate task – every moment with her is a valuable time to me. She makes my heart skip a beat when I see her at the end of the day and I’m sad when we leave each other to go to work.

    The thing is though, with all of that love and devotion that I try to pour out on my wife, I’m also selfishly using her for my own gain. I’m using her to build up another relationship. She is my primary hands on education for the a bigger and more important relationship. She is my lab partner in this class of life as we are both learning to live what has been called the “Shema Lifestyle”.

    You see, as it turns out, she is the biggest lesson in my life of how to live a life for my Bride-Groom. My bone-head move of requesting to move our anniversary date taught me just as much about God as it did my bride. I’ve learned so much from that one experience (retrospectively) that I’ve now begun to actively observe my marriage and every other relationship in life in an effort to learn more about God.

    It makes sense though, right? His divine nature is perceived in everything –

    Romans 1:20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.

    So, let’s walk out the logic here and see if we can come to a conclusion. Well, I’ve already come to my conclusion – I hope this helps you discover yours.

    My time with God is incredibly valuable. My time in prayer, His place in my everyday discussions with others, my time or worship. Really, every moment that He’s on my mind, my heart skips a beat with excitement. Regardless of the time of day, and regardless of the day of the week, He’s happy to spend time with me. He’s excited that I’m giving my time to Him. We build our relationship together though that time spent together.

    But what about our various anniversaries? The day’s that are important to Him? Do you make the mistake I made with my wife and tell your Bride-Groom to *move* His appointed times to a more convenient day or to a better time of year?

    Review Leviticus 23 and notice that God tells you that “my appointed times are these” before listing out the important anniversaries in your relationship with Him.

    Read the entirety of the Bible, and you begin to understand what you’re celebrating. You’re celebrating the anniversary of God creating the world, the anniversary of your future wedding, the anniversary of Jesus’ gift of dying on the cross which is also the anniversary of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. The anniversary of His resurrection, the anniversary of when He will return, when He harvests His Bride. Every significant event in the Bible aligns with the anniversary days outlined in Leviticus 23 – yes, even Jesus’ birthday. If you study with an eye to understanding why those days are important to Him, you see these things jump of the pages of your Bible.

    Do you celebrate the birthdays of those close to you? Do you celebrate your parent’s milestone anniversaries? Do you celebrate the day of your children’s birth? Do you remember the day that a loved one died? Do your children call you on your wedding anniversary and birthday?

    When thoroughly considered, we have dozens of days throughout the year that we celebrate in order to remember important days and events in our lives. How often do you choose to tell someone that their important day is inconvenient? Do you ever tell someone that their important date is so inconvenient they should move the day to a more convenient time so you then can celebrate with them?

    How often do your children call you a week later after your important day and say “well, it was inconvenient to call on your anniversary so I’m calling a few days late”? The gesture means a lot! It means a lot that they would strive to remember your special times, belated or not. But, is it the exact same?

    My dad’s birthday is in July. I’m writing this in September. Would it be appropriate or meaningful for me to call him and wish him a happy birthday when I’m finished writing this? I’m sure the call would be meaningful and important to him, but he would likely chuckle and remind me it’s not his birthday.

    Think it through for every anniversary, birthday and holiday you celebrate. How happy does it make you when someone celebrates with you simply because the day is important to you? How would it make you feel if that same person tells you that your important days have no meaning or inconvenient? How would it make you feel to hear your spouse says those words to you?

    How much more then, should we be addressing our Bride-Grooms needs and expectations? It’s not legalism – it’s love. It’s passion for your lover. Celebrating those days that are important to Him! Even if you don’t recognize that it’s YOUR wedding day you’re celebrating, not just His, it’s important to your Bride-Groom. Should you not lovingly celebrate with your King?

    If you go to a weekly worship service on Sunday – GREAT! He loves spending the time with you. He’s passionate about every moment you will spend with Him.

    But – that’s not the anniversary He asked you to remember. Convenient, or not.

    The word “Sabbath” is a proper name. Just as Monday designates a specific day of the week, the word Sabbath specifies the 7th day of the week, which is Saturday. It’s a defined and fixed day that will never change. It’s not an abstract thought or a set of practices – it’s an anniversary day. It’s both a remembrance of past events and a rehearsal for future events yet to happen. It’s eternal and unchanging regardless of the day you choose to celebrate and worship each week.

    When you try to redefine the day to another point in the week, it’s the same as you telling your spouse to move your anniversary to a more convenient day – except, you know, you’re telling GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, to move HIS day to a different day. It’s a little bit bigger than you. You’re telling your Bride-Groom and the God of the universe that your needs are more important than His. His anniversaries aren’t important to you.

    Is that how you live out the greatest commandment?

    Matthew 22:37-38 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

    Don’t misunderstand, I’m not suggesting that you abandon a community you love. If you’re attending a Sunday service, you go right ahead and do that. What I am suggesting is that our God deserves the entire body of believers to celebrate His anniversary on the day He gave us. Turn your foot from your own desires and attach yourself to His desires - figure out (by reading the Bible) how to honor God’s Sabbath.

    After all, it’s not up for change – it’s a fixed time.

    Do you realize that you will be celebrating the Sabbath every week in the Millennial Kingdom?

    Isaiah 66:23 From new moon to new moon,
    and from Sabbath to Sabbath,
    all flesh shall come to worship before me,
    declares the Lord.

    So, the Sabbath is still important to God in the Millennial Kingdom, why then would we think it’s not important to Him right now? It’s an eternal day that will remain important to Him – so why have we forgotten it? Why do we tell our Bride-Groom that HIS days are unimportant?

    If you love your parents enough to call and wish them a happy anniversary, and if you love your spouse enough to celebrate them on their birthday, and if you love your children enough to celebrate their important days, birthdays and anniversaries – why do you tell God that His anniversaries are NOT important?

    Is your relationship with God one of true love where you are willing to celebrate with Him, on the days that are important to Him? Or is it a relationship of selfish self-centered need where you expect Him to cater to your needs while you ignore His? It’s not legalism – it’s love.

    Expand these thoughts to the rest of His anniversaries.

    Are you keeping His times? Or is it more important to keep the times that we made up? If it’s important to you, keep celebrating God during the holidays you normally do – but also, try stretching yourself to celebrate WITH Him, on His days, that He designated. Such an effort will allow your relationship with Him to blossom into something you’ve never experienced because your Bride-Groom will begin to see it’s a relationship rather than a one-sided passionate lover pursuing His Bride.

    When I remember the important days in my home – my wife’s birthday, our anniversary, her parent’s birthdays, etc. I have a happy home. It’s easy going and so much fun to be married when I care more about her needs than my own. Actually, that sounds a little like something I read in the Bible again:

    Isaiah 58:13-14 If you turn back your foot from the Sabbath,
    from doing your pleasure on my holy day,
    and call the Sabbath a delight
    and the holy day of the Lord honorable;
    if you honor it, not going your own ways,
    or seeking your own pleasure, or talking idly;
    then you shall take delight in the Lord,
    and I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
    I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

    I’ve heard numerous teacher claim, falsely, that we don’t need to observe God’s appointed times anymore because it was nailed to the cross. When I read prophecy regarding the Millennial Kingdom, we are constantly told otherwise.

    Zechariah 14:16 Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths.

    The above passage indicates we’ll be celebrating the feast of Sukkot (Feast of Booths) year after year. Why would we be doing that in the Kingdom if the day was no longer important to our Bride-Groom?

    I cannot stress enough just how important these days are to our God. He stresses this fact throughout Scripture. He loves these days because they mark incredible events that involve His bride. It’s not all about slaughtering animals for sacrifices. There is tremendous meaning in each of the days that are important to YOU and YOUR Bride-Groom. This particular holiday is your wedding feast. For those of you that had a wedding – would it have been complete without your reception afterward? No food, cake, wine, or time to celebrate with your family and friends. God, your Bride-Groom is planning a seven-day celebration for your wedding feast. He’s asked you to rehearse and remember it annually. Is that something to just ignore?

    He didn’t name them as arbitrary days that would be canceled at the time of His Son’s death. Those are the dates of His son’s death, resurrection, wedding and birthday. They are the days of the great Harvest and the day of the great Wedding Feast. They’re your days just as much as they are His as long as you accept His hand in marriage.

    My friends, I think we would be wise to reconsider God’s appointed times. Make His needs greater than your own and return to your King’s appointed days.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
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