30 Days of Honor-Becoming The Bride of Christ
30 Days of Honor
The Bride of Christ
30 Days of Honor is my journey, initiated by the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to learn God’s version of honor in my life.
Quickly into the journey I realized He was teaching me what it means to be “In Covenant” and that I am in the process of Becoming The Bride of Christ. I’ll share my journey, I would love to hear yours as well. There is a comment section below each post. Please share your journey in Honor and Becoming The Bride of Christ.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NLT
19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body (and your spirit, which are God’s…NKJV)
The Context of Honor
I’ve been contemplating this scripture since 2009, discussed it with like minded individuals, talked about incorporating it into our Biblical Wellness program, prayed over it, and tried to understand how it “fit” into my life as a believer in Jesus Christ…but nothing really clicked.
I tried the reason of “Duty”… this felt comfortable because I tend to be legalistic and “Duty Driven”…as our pastor, Terry O’Casey says “I’m a recovering Pharisee”. After all the scripture says “Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit” and “you were bought with a price” and “you are not your own, you belong to God”.
“Duty Driven” tends to only impact my life choices for a moment.
I Felt The Lord Say “Write an Honor Manifesto”
Once again I began reading scriptures on honor, the temple, the Holy Spirit; but again, while interesting and inspiring, it felt “off track”. I continued to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to teach me about this and as usual, he has “knocked my socks off”….
Our pastor, Terry O’Casey, at Highlakes Christian Church in LaPine, Oregon is a fabulous Bible teacher. He has a wonderful gift of “telling the story” and taking us through scriptures, weaving together the Old and New Testament. Of course he should be good at it, after all he is a professor at Northwest Christian University.
Pastor Terry was teaching on the birth of Jesus Christ and in his telling of the story landed on this scripture…1 Corinthians 6:20 – “you were bought with a price”. My heart perked up…what would he say? Of course it would be Jesus paid the price on the cross, a common truth on this scripture. But no, a completely new applications…the price referred to here is “the price of the bride”, a practice used in Jewish marriage tradition.
The Marriage Covenant Contract
Ancient marriage custom had less to do with love, infatuation or physical attraction, although those were considered. Marriage was more a business transaction; a survival tool, if you will…the marriage provided children, children helped to build the family business, building the family business brought prosperity. Having a large family also provided protection.
The ancient Jewish marriage custom began with negotiating a “price of the bride” between the groom’s father, the groom and the father of the bride. The “price of the bride” was a very important part of the initial marriage contract; the groom must pay a very high price for the bride and give careful consideration…was she worth it?
She is “bought with a price”
My heart lept when Pastor Terry explained that a young woman who was betrothed in marriage and had signed a marriage contract, would wear a veil over her face when in public. The veil was the sign to other men, this woman was betrothed…”she is bought with a price”….no looking allowed. She belongs to someone.
Now before you get all up in arms about “selling brides” and fathers using daughters for profit, and husbands “owning wives”, good and godly people did not have this attitude. We will learn about this custom as a protection for the bride later in our 30 days.
You are part of a beautiful love story, woven through scripture, told by Jesus, you will be amazed at the significance of this ancient Jewish tradition in your personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Applying This to Our Lives
Once the contractual part of the marriage was completed the marriage would not be consummated for at least a year. It was time for both bride and groom to prepare for the MARRIAGE…not the wedding. No wonder marriage is such a mess today as our western culture has perverted God’s picture of marriage and made it all about the wedding, with little if any preparation for the marriage.
Think about this…as a believer in Jesus Christ you are called The Bride of Christ. You were bought with a very dear price; the very life of your groom, Jesus. You are now to prepare for the marriage…what does that entail?
Preparing Yourself as The Bride of Christ
I’ve given this much thought over the past few weeks. How does one prepare for a marriage, especially a marriage that has more of a business and contractual feel as opposed to a love-relational feel? Later we will cover the responsibilities of the groom. Today let’s consider how we, The Bride would handle ourselves.
- You would wear a veil in public and no longer be friendly and flirtatious with men. The veil could be removed at home, however, it would be donned when the bride groom came to get you and you would leave it on until after the marriage was consummated. Once you were “one flesh” with your groom you would no longer wear the veil. Have you ever been told by a new acquaintance “I knew you were a Christian”? As believers we wear “the mark of God”. We no longer flirt with the world we are “bought with a price”. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says “now we see as through a veil (or glass) darkly but then (when our bridegroom Jesus appears and takes us to heaven) we will see him face to face”. We Honor God in our relationships with others and the way we carry ourselves in public.
- You would prepare your body – as many modern brides do, to look your best on your wedding day, right? But also, as a partner in a business relationship you may need strength or stamina to work along side your groom. You have a year to get your body in shape. Many of the body of Christ are sidelined today because they are not physically able to do what He has called; they are not taking care of their physical bodies. This is one of our passions, Honor God with your body so it is able to accomplish God’s plans and purposes for your life.
- You would learn the skills needed to run a household, help with the family business, take care of future children. All your efforts will be put to learning these skills. 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us to “study to show ourselves approved, a workman (or woman) who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing God’s Word.” God has given us each gifts and callings we are to fulfill. This is part of our marriage preparation.
- You would want to know as much about this man you would marry. What is he like? What does he enjoy? How can you fit together? Will you love him? Will he love you? These questions will occupy your mind. Phillipians 3:13 says “that I may Know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.”
- You would also want to understand his family because you would be leaving yours and for a short while living in his Father’s house. Later you will live on his family property in your own home. How will you fit in? Who can teach you about your groom and his family? As a believer in Jesus we have the ultimate teacher; The Holy Spirit. In John 16:13 Jesus said “13 However when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak from Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come.”
What About Your Heart?
You will have given great consideration to entering into this covenant, contractual agreement. Every step of the marriage contract provides you with an out. Now you have drank the cup of acceptance, you have been ceremonially cleansed, you are keeping your lamp lit in anticipation of your grooms return. You heart and mind are turned fully to your new groom. You will not be with him for an entire year or more, this takes a change of heart; a heart committed to the man you agreed to marry.
There are no more options; while the marriage has not been consummated, it is a legal and binding agreement. The only way out would be divorce; which would be disgraceful to both families, and put you, the bride in a very vulnerable and dangerous position.
You will train your heart daily, for you “were bought with a price”, you belong to another…you will not see him or live with him for a long time. In fact, you don’t even have a wedding date. The date of the wedding is completely determined by the preparations made by the groom. The grooms father decides when all the preparations are adequate, he decides the wedding day. Even the groom does not know.
My Honor Manifesto
My heart is challenged, I am “bought with a price”. I Choose To Honor My Groom, My Covenant Partner, The Lord Jesus Christ, with my body, my activities, my words, my mind, and my heart. Everything I do from the moment I “drank the cup of acceptance” and received Jesus Christ as my savior and my bridegroom is run through the filter of honoring my covenant and my groom. To do anything else would dishonor the commitment I made to Him and worse, the “price” he paid, unthinkable pain, suffering and death, so I could be with Him and be His Bride.
This awareness is revolutionizing my life. How about you?
30 Days of Honor
I’ll be sharing some amazing truths from scripture that reveal our relationship with Christ through the filter of the marriage covenant. You will be surprised, blessed, encouraged and challenged to Honor God with your Body and your Spirit, which are God’s.
I believe understanding these truths is the key to many areas of self-control in our lives.
I hope you will join me for 30 Days of Honor. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so I can learn from you as well.
Yours for Honor,
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