By: Allie Joy Hudson
Looking at the Groom
Have you ever noticed that at weddings people love to watch the groom’s reaction as the bride walks down the aisle?
I always do this, and many of my friends have told me that they’re planning to do the same thing at my (upcoming!) wedding. Watching the groom as he watches his soon-to-be wife make her way to him is one of the sweetest and most genuine parts of the entire day.
But why do we observe the groom? So many people say that the wedding day is all about the bride. And in this moment, the bride is absolutely radiant, likely the most beautiful that she has ever looked or felt in her entire lifetime. But our eyes move to take in the expressions of the groom instead. His gaze is the most important, and our eyes are glued to him. Why?
Because he is absolutely enthralled with his beloved, and we delight in his delight.
Longing, surprise, gratitude, admiration, joy, and love all wash over the man as he takes in the euphoria and significance of this moment. He brings us along with him; we see through his eyes. We rejoice for him and with him, celebrating a union taking place before God.
In the Christian realm, we often hear that the marriage covenant reflects the eternal love and union of Jesus Christ and His Bride, the Church. This is true and is something to marvel at and celebrate. But thinking about this one specific aspect of wedding ceremonies (observing the groom) can make this truth about Jesus all the more real and lovely for us.
The Eternal Marriage
The Apostle John describes the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Revelation 19:6-9:
Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”
This ceremony eternally binds Jesus to His Beloved and will be marked with incomprehensible splendor and majesty. And we, as His Church, will get to be a part of it!
Will the actions and reactions of the heavenly onlookers be similar to ours as we witness marriages here? It fills me with so much joy to think of Jesus’ face in the moments right before receiving His Bride. Earthly grooms’ faces will pale in comparison. Jesus will have waited for this moment from eternity past! Throughout all of history, He has been anticipating this union. He formed us and knows us more intimately than we will ever know ourselves. Jesus gave Himself, came to Earth, faced immense rejection, and died on our behalf to make this eternal marriage possible. He emptied Himself so that we can one day be dressed in the purest white. All our sins washed away. Made new. Forever His.
Pleasure and Purity
What will it mean for us to be dressed in white, in “fine linen, bright and pure”? In reflecting on our “purity,” so often we focus on our own selves and miss Jesus. We are His bride and He is able to make us truly beautiful, but the instant we look away from His affection and adoration is the instant we begin to get mud on our radiant white dress. The beauty about sexual purity is that it reflects the majesty of the heavenly groom. The bride is clean and pure because she desires and strives to please her betrothed. The moments we fail in our purity are the moments we look away from His gaze.
As one who has battled and saved herself for her soon-to-be, I can tell you that the hope and power of love can conquer a multitude of sins and transform a commoner into royalty. That’s His good news for me and for my future husband, and that is His good news for you.
Considering earthly marriage in this light of eternity reminds us of the significance with which God created it. Whenever you attend a wedding next, keep the image of Jesus rejoicing over His Bride in your mind. God designed marriage to reflect this everlasting joy! What a privilege it is to be able to witness it.
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Allie Joy Hudson is first and foremost a daughter of the King. She graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and minors in Spanish and Psychology. Allie completed her Senior Honors Thesis on the presentation of postmodern sexuality in short fiction
and has also been published in two of Liberty University’s other online journals, The Kabod and Aidenn. She enjoys reading, writing, playing the viola, singing, musical theatre, photography, and Zumba. She is passionate about her ever-growing C.S. Lewis collection, cultivating relationships, and proclaiming truth in the twisted arena of postmodern sexuality. Allie was raised in Maryland and is overjoyed to be married to the love of her life.