Christ died for the church in order that he might present to himself a beautiful bride. He endured the cross for the joy of marriage that was set before him. But what is the ultimate joy of the church? Is it not to be presented as a bride to the sovereign Christ? So Christ sought his own joy in the joy of the church. Therefore, the example Christ sets for husbands is to seek their joy in the joy of their wives...if you devote yourself with all your heart to the holy joy of your spouse, you will also be living for your joy and making a marriage after the image of Christ and his church.
One of the things that I am learning as I prepare for my marriage is that marriage is all about selfless living. I am no longer living for myself alone and what brings me joy, but instead, I am dying to those things so thatI can bring Laura joy. As I devote myself to serving, providing, honoring and caring for Laura then my joy increases. Christ mission, enduring the scorn and shame of the cross, brought Him joy because He was doing it for His church. AsI long I keep my life in perspective, that I am giving up my life for Laura, then my life will be a quest for joy.
Something really neat to think about is how Christ is the greatest leader and the greatest servant. To follow Christ examples means to wash Laura's feet. I am not a general or sergant who barks orders and Laura follows. The goal is servant leadership that makes love the trademark and looks first needs of others. When Christ washed the disciples feet there was never any doubt that He is the leader. When Christ brought the disciples correction there was never any question of His love or attacks on His leadership. On Christ journey to the cross His focus was always on bringing the Father glory and secondly serving His disciples.
My prayer is that I may be decrease so that He may increase. As I die more and more to self then I want to be able to serve Laura and provide for her protection and care. I don't want my pleasure to ever be in my job or my hanging out with my guy friends. In laying down my life I pray my pleasure can be found in pursuing Laura and bringing her joy. As iron sharpens iron, I want to be able to sharpen Laura and help her to more passionately pursue her Heavenly Father and grow in Him. I desire boldness and discernment so I can not only mortify my own sin, but also help Laura to put hers to death as well.