That His Bride be Holy
Before I proceed with our second toast, I feel a need to clarify my personal perspective on the holy character of a bride. There are two ways in which a bride might be holy. First, she saves herself for the man she marries by remaining sexually pure until her wedding night. Secondly, she remains pure with the man she has chosen to marry until her wedding night.
I realize many people will read these statements and automatically wonder what planet I am living on. We frequently read data indicating a large portion of our culture no longer holds to these values. In fact, some might say it has become the “norm” for couples to become sexually active before marriage, and to enter into marriage only after they have decided they are ready for a commitment.
It is not my desire here to condemn those who have a different perspective than mine, or to create sorrow in the heart of those who wish they had waited for their wedding night to consummate their relationship. I am aware some have also been pressed into a sexual act against their will, and have been made to feel unworthy through no fault of their own.
Yet, I don’t believe we can understand the biblical example of a holy bride apart from its teaching on marital purity. I also think it is a misnomer to call the practice of preserving sex for the marriage bed as “old-fashioned” or “traditional.” It is neither. It is simply what the Bible teaches. And while other behaviors are certainly becoming more common, I think we should be careful when labeling anything “the norm.”
Jesus died to make the church holy (Ephesians 5:26), as He washed away our sins through His blood. When we place ourselves under his cleansing grace we begin the process of walking the walk, also called “sanctification.” As we take the long walk of love in preparation for our meeting with Jesus, we do our best to keep ourselves unstained by the world. Will we sin? Absolutely! But daily we call on the Lord’s grace, and we strive to please Him by living for Him and Him only. This is the Father’s wish for us: that we remain holy, even as He has made us holy, and as He is holy.