Only those who have experienced it can comprehend the vast amount of time spent in preparation for a wedding. From the time the engagement is announced and likely even before then, hardly a day passes without the bride making plans for the upcoming event. The amount of energy expended by everyone involved can hardly be measured.
There is a spiritual lesson in this which must not be overlooked. The Bible describes our relationship to the Lord as being His bride (Eph. 5:25-32). Paul told the Corinthians that he has “espoused them to one husband” (2 Cor. 11:2) so that they might be presented as a chaste virgin to the Lord. The seriousness of that preparation must exceed that of the preparation for any earthly marriage.
The new Jerusalem is described as one “made ready as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2). Whether this refers to the church today or to its future abode does not diminish the point of preparation. She was adorned for her husband. Every bride, including His, prepared herself for her husband.
What is the nature of that adornment? There are those “garments” she can never wear which are described as the works of the flesh—“sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these” (Gal. 5:19-20). There are those “garments” she must wear which are described as the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control . . .” (Gal. 5:22-23).
Perhaps no other passage so succinctly describes the attire we must wear as His bride. Take a look at that list of “wedding attire” and think of how He wants us to appear before Him. Look at yourself and see those areas where preparation has not been properly made. Are you ready for the coming of the bridegroom?
Israel’s relationship with God was described as a marriage (Jer. 3:20; 31:32; Mal. 2:11). Jeremiah reminded that nation of her espousal to the Lord in the wilderness around Mt. Sinai (Jer. 2:2). Then Israel changed and forgot their “wedding.” The prophet cried out to that nation, “Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten me days without number” (Jer. 2:32).
Some brides make great preparation for the wedding and then forget the vows they made. Have you forgotten the vows you made to Him?