“Grace! 3 Things My Wedding Taught Me”
My wife and I have been married 33 years this month. To say that I married up is a major understatement. (I can almost hear the, “you got that right” chorus coming from my friends. Who asked you?) Anyway, the marriage has been easy to remember but the wedding was a blur.
But as I reflect back over that crazy day, in light of the incredible gift of grace that I’ve received, there are 3 lessons about that grace that I learned from my marriage.
Lesson One: My status changed…. Just Like That!
On the Sunday afternoon of our wedding, my wife drove to the church single and so did I.
- When the music signaled the start of the service, we were both single.
- When the mothers marched in, we were single.
- When the wedding party assembled, we were single.
- When Pastor Dew did the homily, we were sweating…but still single.
But at the moment we were pronounced man and wife, we moved from single to married-just like that!
One moment I was single, the next moment I was not. One moment I was free to do anything I wanted, the next moment I was not. One moment my ankles were free, the next moment a ball and chain…wait, I lost my train of thought. You get the point.
In a sense that’s’ exactly what God’s grace does. It changes your status just like that! The word is justification.
Romans 5:1-2” Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.”
Justification is an act of God’s grace. It means, “to declare righteous.” New Testament writers, particularly Paul, describe the word in legal terms. It is an official declaration that God has changed your status from lost to saved. It means that according to your faith in Christ, God has pardoned you, acquitted you, forgiven you, and accepted the righteousness of Christ in place of your unrighteousness. And it happened, just like that!
John 5:24 “ Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
That’s good news. Just as I moved from single to married in the twinkling of an eye, God provides his salvation at the same speed. Your status changes just like that. And when God changes your status:
- You are complete in Him. Colossians 2:10
- You are forgiven. Ephesians 1:7
- You are free from condemnation. Romans 8:1-2
- You are a citizen of heaven. Philippians 3:20
- You are the temple of the Holy Ghost. I Cor. 3:16
- You are a new creature in Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. 5:17
- You are a joint heir with Christ. Romans 8:17
1 John 5:13 “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God, that ye may know that you have eternal life…”
We have a lifetime of Christian growth to look forward to. But by his grace we are positioned as saints right now. And it happened just like that!
Lesson Number Two: My feelings were irrelevant to my status.
I must admit. When I woke up the Monday morning following our wedding, I felt single. My feelings were the same ones I had been living with all the years prior to my wedding. Single feelings! But there was a big difference. My status had changed. I was married!
Didn’t make a difference how I felt. The choice had been made. The vows had been taken. The license had been signed. The covenant had been established. My feelings were irrelevant. My status had changed. I was a married man.
And that is an important lesson of grace that many Christians struggle with constantly. “I don’t feel saved so I must be lost.” It makes about as much sense as saying, “ I don’t feel married so I’m not.” Our feelings, as valuable as they are, do not determine our standing with God. Hebrews 10:38 reminds us that the just don’t live by feelings but by faith in God.
Kirk Franklin wrote a powerful blog in 2015 entitled, “Avoiding Dark Streets with Dead Ends.” In it he thanked God for his life experiences that drove his creativity. But the sentence that stuck out to me was, “My feelings have always been an enemy of my faith.” Same with many of us.
The question is simple. Whose report will you believe? God can’t lie, but your feelings do. Titus 1:2. Often it takes our feelings time to catch up with the reality of our position in Christ. But I believe God.
Lesson Number Three: The wedding was free to me, but it cost an awful lot!
Actually, I didn’t get the full impact of the cost of weddings until I had 2 girls!!!! After each of those weddings I was reminded of how blessed I was at my own wedding…as the groom. That wedding didn’t cost me a dime, but my wife’s family was fully invested.
The grace that God gives, the justification that we accept, was absolutely free to us, but it came at an incredible price. So I thank Him with my lips and my life.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities…….” Isaiah 53