“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” (Ephesians 5:31 cf. Matthew 19:25, Genesis 2:24)
The bride and the groom with eyes full of love and promises of loyalty in their hearts and on their lips, approach two separate candles representing their lives as individuals. They each take the candle representing their own life, lift them up to yet another candle and together they light it. They then proceed to snuff out their individual candles. The message: the old has past, and the new has come.
1. The couple would light the main candle together and then one or both of them would refuse to blow out their candle, as they asserted that they needed to hold on to their past life “in order to reach out to the family.”?
2. What if they would light the main candle together and snuff out their individual candles, only to relight them at a latter date, because someone came along and said that this would provide more light.
What can we learn?
In the book of Ephesians, the apostle Paul follows a line of logic from the relationship of Christ to the church—and by extension the individual believer—and extends it to marriage. If we examine the relationship of Christ and the church, Christ is the bridegroom and the church and the believers within it are the bride. When Christ bought the church with the bride price of his own blood, in his own body he exemplified that out of death comes life. In a parallel way, He expects that his church embodies the idea:” Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). The church, His bride cannot have it both ways, she must snuff out the candle of her old life, and be united to her bridegroom. If she relights her old candle, that is tantamount to marital infidelity.
Do your mission strategies encourage some members of the bride of Christ–due to their “special circumstances” to either keep the candle of their individual past lives lit, or even suggest that after they have snuffed it out, that they should relight their candle?