Getting Ready for a Wedding…

I tried to buy body chocolate today.

It was a first for me.

Tonight I’m going to a bridal shower for my intern, Cali Galloway, and I wanted to give her something memorable. So I went to Chocolate Madness, where I remembered seeing it before, but I couldn’t find it. I guess they were out. The only people in the store were me and the middle-aged chocolate-selling man, decked out in a white apron and blue latex gloves. Seemed totally inappropriate to start up a conversation about body chocolate with him. Ended up buying a little box of cool-looking raspberry thingies that cost way too much and have a name I can’t pronounce. Then I went down the street to a shop where I bought Cali some lingerie instead.

It is my absolute delight to share in the preparation of this sweet virgin bride for her honeymoon. Our whole office is giddy with excitement for her. After all, we don’t live, breathe, preach, and teach purity for any reason other than a full and unashamed celebration of sexual oneness between a bride and her groom.

Purity is not about not having sex. It’s about waiting to have it right.

Here at Pure Freedom, my staff and I love sex. And we celebrate it.

So did the Jewish culture! Their celebration of the sexual union began with the preparation of the bride and groom. A bit more formal than our bridal showers, but really cool. It started with a visit from his father to her father. Some sort of payment had to be made for this bride. If the groom could provide an acceptable bride price, the marriage ketubah (a contract of agreed-upon standards of behavior and care) was written up, and the young couple was officially betrothed or engaged. The groom then went off to prepare a place for them to live. When the building was completed, the groom wasted no time in retrieving his bride. He’d gather all his friends, and they’d sing and dance and bang pots and pans in the streets on their way to claim his girl. Then he would carry her through the streets, shouting and rejoicing that he was ready and could provide for her.

The Jewish tradition was to cover the bride and groom with a chuppah (pronounced hoo-pah) as they walked through the streets. It was a big banner or canopy that covered only them, signifying the exclusiveness of their intimacy. though the entire community was involved in the celebration of their union, the chuppah was symbolic of their relationship being separated…holy. Only the two of them could be under the chuppah . . .

As our study of the word yada moves into the New Testament, the curtain opens wider and we can begin to see the exclusive nature of god’s love. Exclusive generally means “not with other things or not including others.” The love God has for humanity is exclusive. How? Well, in the Old Testament He commands humankind to have “no other gods before Me” (Exodus 20:3, NKJV). In other words, we are to give nothing and no one priority over our relationship with Him. Our love for the One True God cannot be contaminated by other idols.

Politically incorrect though it may seem, the jealousy of God–designed to protect His creation from false gods intent on the destruction of humankind–demands our exclusive faithfulness . . .

. . .  Do you see Christ coming to earth to pay a price to redeem His bride, just as that young Jewish boy had to pray a bride price to the father of the girl? Do you remember how in John 14:2-3, Jesus said that He was going to “prepare a place for us, much like that Jewish boy left the betrothal intent on building a home for his bride? And finally there is that impromptu whisking away of the virgin bride, and event that reflects a future occasion when Christ will return for His bride, the church, and we will be taken away to live with Him.

What a romantic wedding feast there will be on that day. It is an exclusive love. Just like marriage is meant to be.

So here are Cali and Peter. Engaged. Eighty-one days away from their wedding feast. (But who’s counting?) And we are working together to make this bride ready. And on another level of romance, here’s the church. Engaged. Not sure how many days we have until the wedding feast. But I am working to make this bride ready by keeping her pure and spotless.

Are you?

Excerpt from What Are You Waiting For: The One Thing No One Ever Tells You About Sex

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