If marriage is symbolic of the relationship between God and man once justification has happened, what is engagement?
This is the question I was asking myself this morning as I pondered my own engagement, which started around 5:45 p.m. yesterday. I asked my girlfriend if she would marry me, and she said yes. It’s a pretty big deal. Here’s a picture of us below:
Once it was posted on Facebook a few hours later, the notifications started pouring in: comments on the photo, comments on the “life event” and hundreds and hundreds of likes. I was trying to figure out how I could write about this (typical writer of me), and I had this thought.
Engagement is such an announcement. I’ve had Facebook and Instagram notifications out the wazoo. And I’m so thankful for all of them. I’m thankful for all the people who love and care for me enough to think about Sarah and me.
But of course, I had to think of some spiritual tie-in. And I thought of Christmas.
We often think about Christmas as an announcement that Christ has come and that the forgiveness of sins is at hand. And that’s what I think of when I think about engagement.
Giving Sarah a diamond ring means I’m planning on marrying her. It means I’m planning on making a lifelong commitment. It means I’m committing to be committed. And that’s wild for me, because I’m terrified of commitment, I’m terrified of absolutes.
But when I look at Christmas, I see an announcement. It’s announcing that a wedding is coming, a relationship and a unity is approaching, between God and man. It’s one based on unconditional love, one based not on feeling and emotion but on commitment and faithfulness. It’s God committing to be committed.
2 Timothy 2:13 says this about God: “If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.” God is faithful. He can’t stop being faithful. As Sarah and I prepare for marriage, I’m going to hope that I can be faithful as God is to me. He’s my guide for marriage.
Marriage is designed to reflect the Gospel, first and foremost. And I certainly hope Sarah and I can reflect the grace of God and the relationship between God and man in our relationship.
So whenever you see an engagement posting on Facebook, I encourage you to think about Christmas. Jesus coming is God saying, “Hey, relationship is upon you. Get ready. Prepare yourself. It’s going to be awesome.”
Just for fun, here’s a video I showed to Sarah before I proposed to her: