Sunday, August 5, 2012

Colossians 3:12-19 and wedding vows

I have been writing this thinking I knew what I was going to say and when I was going to say it...and what I was going to leave out. So far, that hasn't gone as planned...and neither will this next entry. It may tell more of my story, but not what I thought I was going to talk about... Colossians 3:12-19: 12 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14 Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. 15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father. 18 Wives, be subject to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. 19 Husbands, love your wives and do not be embittered against them. (See also Galatians 5:22 and Ephesians 5:22-25) Any time I hear the word "submit" in wedding vows, I cringe. Some reading this may know exactly why...maybe in detail, maybe not. However, as I witnessed two friends of mine exchange their rings and vows today, something clicked for me that never has this tangibly before. When a woman is pledging to "submit" to her husband, this man should be someone that she trusts enough to do so. Though he will mess up at times (we need to remember that he is NOT GOD), she should know that he is someone who fits the qualities laid out in these verses...and he should be someone who is constantly submitting himself and his life to Christ. Contrary to some of what I have seen and what I have often pictured when I hear the word "submit", the husband is not meant to be militant, or a dictator. He is not meant to be mean or abusive. His character should always reflect that of Christ, who is Love. Her life, too, should reflect the fruit of the Spirit, and a life that is also constantly submitted to Christ. In some ways, I feel like this reflects things I said in my last entry about who I'm looking for in a husband...I just didn't realize how well it fits submission and these verses until writing this out. I love a visual that one of my friends shared with me, that I hope she doesn't mind I've expanded on a little. I believe it was actually her now husband who originally shared the visual with her. Hopefully my explanation does it justice! Picture a man and woman walking, separately. They are both looking forward toward Christ. Eventually the man reaches out and takes the woman's hand and they walk together, both of them with their eyes on Christ. I wonder if a picture of the man and woman's hearts connected to Christ and then later also connected to each other's also works? Maybe that needs to be thought about some more... (This song "just happened" to be playing on Pandora right now:

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