I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion. I will betroth you in faithfulness, and you will acknowledge the Lord. Hosea 2:19-20
Becoming a Christian is like getting engaged. When we say ‘yes’ to a marriage proposal we’re making a lifetime commitment. When we say ‘yes’ to God we’re also making a lifetime commitment. A wedding service is the conclusion of the engagement. Whereas the wedding of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7 and 21:2) happens in heaven, suggesting that our time on earth is a type of engagement.
God is a faithful partner so we can be secure in the knowledge that God won’t break the ‘engagement’. Yet he will allow us to break it because true love isn’t controlling. I’ve heard some describe the wedding supper of the Lamb and it sounded like an arranged marriage since in his foreknowledge God knows who will respond to him. I struggle with this thought.
In the libraries where I worked there were lots of romance novels and they weren’t about arranged marriages! Those books were in the non-fiction or biography section. Only love that is freely given and freely received captures our heart and imagination and this is what God does. He seeks to capture our heart with the passion and intensity of his love. He doesn’t coerce or treat us like puppets.
We’re to live our Christian lives like engaged people. We’re happy to be betrothed to our beloved, we’re eager to learn what pleases our Divine Lover and we want to spend time with them not for what they give us but simply for their presence. We look forward to the upcoming wedding and we’re excited about spending eternity with them.