Revive Our Hearts Podcast

Expressing Admiration

Leslie Basham: Something usually goes wrong at a wedding, though the guests may never know. But there's one thing you'll never see.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: In a human relationship, can you imagine a bride forgetting who her groom is? It's unthinkable. The danger is that we would lose our focus, that we would forget why we're here on earth, which is to get ready for our Bridegroom.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It's Friday, July 25. It's a ridiculous thought, isn't it? A bride would never forget who her groom is.

Even with all the tension and fatigue that wedding plans bring, the bride and groom are focused on their love for one another. We need to have that same kind of focus as we anticipate our heavenly marriage. Here is Nancy to explain.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Don't you love going to weddings? I went to one last week. It was so precious--just a Christ-centered wedding, really very beautiful. But when you think of weddings, the person that you really want to see at the wedding is who?

The bride. All eyes are on the bride. There is just something really special. That girl may never put herself together any other day, but on that day she is putting herself together. In any wedding I can think of that I've been to, the bride has been the center of attention.

But this week we've been talking about another kind of wedding. In this wedding, the bride is not the center of attention. We've been talking about the love relationship between God and His people--between the Lord Jesus and His bride.

We've been using an illustration from the Old Testament book of the Song of Solomon. If you've not been with us, let me just give you a quick nutshell.

There was a king in that story who wanted a wife. He didn't choose any of the women that you would have thought he might have chosen as a king. But he went and found a peasant girl. He said, "I want you to be my bride."

He brought her back to his palace. He married her. He gave his love to her. He began to invest in her life. She became his. He became hers. The Song of Solomon in the Old Testament is the story of that love relationship.

Now it's a very human story of the love between a husband and wife. But even more than that, it's a picture--a story--of the love relationship between Christ and His Church.

When we think about our relationship as the Bride of Christ to our Bridegroom (our Beloved, as He is called in the Song of Solomon), we need to keep in mind that in this relationship, in this wedding, the bride is not the center of the attention. It's the groom who is everything. It's all about the groom.

In fact, we've called this series "Here Comes the Bridegroom." We're going to see as we continue in this series that He is coming, and that we need to be getting ready for His coming. But I want us to take some moments today to just focus on the Bridegroom and to look at Him.

In Revelation 21 we read that the Bride is beautifully dressed for her husband. That's why that bride dresses the way she does at her wedding. She is dressing for her husband--for him to see.

When she buys that dress, she is thinking, What will he like? How can I look beautiful for him? So it is in our relationship with Christ that as His Bride we want to be beautifully dressed for our Beloved, for the bridegroom, for our husband.

Now the danger in this wedding relationship with Jesus Christ and our marriage to Him is that we would get our eyes off of Him--that we would forget that it's His love that has brought this relationship about in the first place.

We're so prone here on this earth while we're waiting for the consummation of our marriage relationship with Christ, which is yet to come in its fullness, we're prone to forget our bridegroom.

Can you imagine such a thing? In a human relationship, can you imagine a bride forgetting who our groom is? It's unthinkable. The danger is that we would lose our focus, that we would forget why we're here on earth, which is to get ready for our bridegroom--to be prepared for Him.

We said that revival is really just the Bride getting ready for the wedding. That's what we're here on earth to do--to get ready for the wedding. It's all about Him. It's centered on Him. He is the focus.

Now in the Song of Solomon--the story we've been telling about--that Old Testament king and his bride, there are two occasions in that story--and again, let me remind you that we have the entire Song of Solomon, where I teach verse by verse through the entire book, available on audiotape and videotape in a series called "How to Fall and Stay in Love With Jesus." So I'm just giving you some snapshots from that book.

But in the course of that story, there are two occasions when the bride loses the sense of her beloved. She is very troubled when this happens. She is reminded how much she misses him when he is not there. She is reminded how much she loves him when he is not there.

In both cases she goes searching for her beloved. In both cases she does find him. We learn through her search something about how to have intimacy restored in our relationship with Jesus Christ.

But in one of the two particular instances, she goes out into the town searching for her beloved. She finds the daughters of Jerusalem, the other women in the town. She says to them, "Have you seen him? Have you seen my beloved?"

Well, the daughters of Jerusalem say to her, "Who is your beloved more than any other beloved?" In other words, "What's so special about him? Why are you so intent on finding him?"

The implication might even be "Go find another one. If you've lost him, another one will do, won't he?" Well, the bride begins to think about that question. She responds to the daughters of Jerusalem.

She says in Song of Solomon 5, "My beloved is dazzling and ready. He is the chiefest among ten thousand." In other words, "There is no one else like him. He is incomparable."

Then she goes on to describe in great detail what it is that attracts her to him. With the tenderest of voice and words and thoughts, she describes his head, his hair, his eyes, his cheeks, his lips, his mouth, his arms, his hands, his body, his legs. Just every part of his body, she describes in tender detail.

Then she concludes. She says, "His mouth is most sweet. Yea, he is altogether lovely. He is my beloved. This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. There is no one else like him."

As you read this passage, you sense that she is reminding herself of what she may have forgotten. It's not until she begins to speak of the details of what it is that she has admired about him. It's as if she is not only telling them, but she is telling herself. He is the chief among ten thousand! There is no one else like him! She is reminding herself of why it is that he means so much to her.

I heard about a wife who was sitting and describing her husband. She said, "I don't even like him." They were what you would consider a good Christian marriage. But at that moment of her life, she was saying, "I don't even like this man." The reason you're smiling is because you've probably had some similar thoughts at moments. Those times do come in a relationship in a marriage.

Could I suggest that you do what this bride did? Go back and remember, recall, recount, rehearse what it was that attracted you to him in the first place. There's a good chance that some of those qualities are enduring qualities.

But what has happened is you've become more conscious of your differences in the time that you've been married. You've become more focused on the things that annoy you--the things that maybe didn't bother you at all when you were courting. In fact, maybe they intrigued you, because he was so different than you.

So now you're focused on the differences. But go back and think about what were the things that did draw you, that did attract you. Begin to highlight those things. And then begin to tell others and to tell him what it is that you appreciate about him.

In fact, if you'll put on a different pair of glasses--take off the critical ones and put on the grateful, appreciative ones, you'll probably find that there are still qualities in him that are admirable.

In fact, I've given to women over the years a 30-day challenge along this line. Every day for the next 30 days, if you're a married woman, there are two parts to this challenge. First of all, the negative part. For the next 30 days, I'm going to challenge you not to say one negative thing about your husband to him or to anyone else about him.

Then here's the positive part of that challenge. Every day for the next 30 days, I want to challenge you to say something that you appreciate about your husband. Say it to him and say it to someone else about him, like this bride did to the daughters of Jerusalem. Say something.

Now maybe you're thinking, I can't think of 30 things I appreciate about my husband. Well, then think of one thing you appreciate it and say it every day for the next 30 days.

Now you can say it. You can write it. You can write it on the mirror. You can write it on a card and stick it in his computer case as he goes to work or whatever. But say it to him in some way. Then say it to someone else about him.

You say, "What will happen in 30 days? Will my husband be different?" I won't make any guarantees about anything that'll happen to your husband, although he may wonder if he's married to the same woman.

But I'll tell you something for sure. You will change. You will change. You will find yourself being grateful, appreciative. You will find yourself loving your husband in a whole fresh and new way.

Are you willing to take that 30-day challenge if you're married? Every day for the next 30 days, express your admiration, express your appreciation and watch God work in your heart and in your marriage as a result.

Leslie Basham: We want to help you follow through on the 30-day challenge Nancy Leigh DeMoss just gave us. If you're up for the challenge, visit our Web site, ReviveOurHearts.com, and tell us that you're going to participate.

We'll send you reminders via e-mail to encourage you to keep up the good work. You can also visit ReviveOurHearts.com and give us ideas on how you encourage your husband. Tell us how the 30-day challenge is going. Just visit ReviveOurHearts.com and click on Contact Us.

Or you can send us a note to Revive Our Hearts. We'd love to hear from you. When you contact us, make sure to ask for our free newsletter. It features articles from Nancy and will help you know what to expect on upcoming broadcasts.

Have a great weekend. Next week we'll continue hearing about our Heavenly Bridegroom--learning to appreciate His love for us. Here's Nancy to close our time in prayer.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Father, I pray that Your love--the love of Christ--would rule in every marriage represented in this place, and that Your love would be the measure of our love for one another.

Lord, I especially want to pray for a wife who is listening who it's been 30 weeks or 30 months or 30 years since there has been a sense of warmth and love in her relationship with her husband.

O God, how I pray that even through this little exercise over the next 30 days that You would rekindle something there--that You would renew and restore that which has been lost, that You would bring healing and hope and help to that woman's heart, and that she would begin to love her husband in that selfless, serving way that You have loved us.

Thank You, Lord, for what You'll do over these next days as wives all across this country begin to love their husbands in a whole new way and to express that love for the sake of Jesus. I pray in His name. Amen.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

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