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What the Bride testifies.

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I have been thinking lately of the description of the Church as the Bride of Christ. Particularly, I have been meditating on the testimony that a bride should give of her husband, if her husband is indeed honorable. First let me say that by no means does this post advocate "putting on a good Christian face" to the public. Such is an expression of inauthenticity, isolation, and pride - none of which are of Christ. Having said that, let us consider.

What as husbands do we want our wives to reflect in character? Here is a short list from my perspective for what I want Katie to be as my bride.

1. Secure. When people think of Katie, I don't want them to associate insecurity or constant worry about future provision in where she will live or whether she will have food or clothing.

2. Confident. I would hate to think of Katie living in fear, that she is unprotected and in a constant state of vulnerability.

3. Faithful. It is my desire that Katie is satisfied in our marriage and friendship and does not feel that she is in the wrong relationship or at least in one that can not last or is in constant decline.

4. Peaceful. I want Katie's yoke to be light.

5. Patient. Does Katie feel constantly rushed or as if she is running out of time? I don't want her bearing unnecessary pressure. I don't want her thinking she has to do it all by herself right now, not trusting in my help and timing. I certainly don't want her not having margin in her life to invest and spend time with others who love her and those that need her own love and encouragement.

6. Gentle. If I am harsh and domineering with Katie, then I believe it would be hard for her to show gentleness to others. How sweet does she feel my love is to her?

7. Kind. Staying in frame of fruits of the Spirit, kindness is a quality I desire Katie to have as my bride. For her to lose her kindness would mean that she would be poisoned with anger. What would I be doing to her or how would I not be protecting her that would cause her to be filled with such darkness? I hope we never endure such a time.

8. A good steward. If Katie hoards or wastes, then she has a poor concept of community and lives focused on herself. As such, she would see little in me or of a larger meaning for our life to impact those who could benefit of our resources, both material and immaterial.

9. Truthful. It is a great testimony to have nothing to hide, to love the light. I would hope that Katie lives in such freedom.

10. Gracious. When one experiences true grace, then that person should extend it to others. It is my prayer that Katie, when errors do occur, always experiences grace beyond her measure.

So, there's a simple ten. There are more, but you see where I am going.

Here is my point then: how do we, as the Bride of Christ, reflect these qualities and others? When we interact with the world, is it obvious that we have a Savior that is our provision? Do our lives testify that we have been changed by grace and that our yokes are easy? Do we interact with our community in a way that communicates that we have time for them and are called to serve them? Are we a vision of Christ in being a Bride that is epitomized by kindness and love? You get my point here as well.

An the other side, what does the way we are living now currently say to others about what we believe about our Savior and who he is? What through our words and actions are we telling our community about God or Christ? To be honest, I feel my life is a promotion of lies. I silently tell the world that God does not provide and that His yoke is not easy. I give the impression that God has hurt me or that Christ is not enough.

We must always be authentic and honest in where we are in our walk and how God is working in our lives. We all still live in a fallen world stained with sin, and none of us have completed our journey of sanctification. However, as we do grow, I hope that the world looks upon the Church as the Bride and instantly recognizes her inseparable Savior.

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