There are divine moments in our lives during which God reveals Himself to us in ways bold and obvious. Just three days ago, I found myself in one of those moments big time. I was standing at the back of the middle aisle of the church sanctuary dressed in a suit and tie, with a boutonnière on my lapel. Holding onto my left arm was one of the most beautiful and precious people in the world - at least to me. My daughter, Joy, was about to have her dreams fulfilled. She was moments away from marrying her knight in shining armor. And I was moments away from not only giving my daughter away, but going on to conduct the rest of the ceremony as the pastor of the church.
It was in that moment the depth of my love for my daughter exploded in my heart. She was mine, a piece of me, a deeply embedded attachment in my soul. I realized that whatever time we’d had together over the past twenty-four years was not enough. Our eyes had not gazed into the other's long enough. Our sweet uninterrupted times had not been slow enough. Her value to me had not been felt by her sincerely enough.
Then there was the overwhelming realization that she is truly one of the most incredible humans on the planet. She is a leader full of compassion for everyone. She pays attention to every person in the room. She feels responsible to heal every pain in others around her. She loves her family, her friends, and even those who may offend her. What a girl! What a special human being! I was honored, humbled, and overwhelmed with a thankful heart.
And to think I was about to hand her over to another man. He’d now take on the role of Prince Charming. I was about to step to the rear, having had my day of being the #1 Man in her life.
Now, #1 Man, he truly is! He is a strong, mature, and faithful man. He is driven by love and excellence. He is sold out to God. He is committed to the word and to the mission of God. And he loves her like no man I have ever seen loves his bride. It is not just infatuation. He has already proven several times over, through sacrificial actions, that he is head over heels, madly and firmly in love with my daughter. On top of that, he is emotionally smitten. His "drool" over her is mushy and dreamy. It would be every girl's dream to be in the arms of this kind of man. I must also admit it doesn’t hurt that he already has a good, stable job. (I am a father.)
It really wasn't until the next morning, however, in the middle of my quiet time with God alone, that His revealed Word solidified the truth He’d been directing at my inner being all weekend. The reception was over. The father-daughter dance was history. My emotions were hanging out of every cell in my body. Memories flooded my mind from a lifetime of kisses, hugs, vacations, and Disney princess videos.
So there it was, tucked away in Colossians 3:14. One powerful verse revealing a summary of God's call and character: "But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection (completion)." I have rarely felt so completed. And I know that is exactly how Joy must have felt. She will always cherish the moment in her life when her father and her groom were pouring out bucketfuls of love into her heart. That is perfection! That is completion! That is the fulfillment we’re all looking for.
It is not my intent to leave the mothers of the couple out. They have undoubtedly put in the most work and effort in raising our children. And as for the father of the groom - Well, let's just say there’s a reason why this young man is the way he is.
The point of the lesson I learned is this: the image of a father walking with his daughter, preparing to give her to her groom, resonates with the true nature of our relationship with the Father who is at once God, and Jesus, His Son - the Groom. The Father's love for us is a million times more intense than my love for my daughter. And Jesus' love for His bride is head over heels ridiculous!!! Luke 10:21, in the original language, basically says that Jesus "leapt into the air, rejoicing" over his disciples. That is how He sees us. He is the groom. He is madly, head over heels in love with His bride: you and me. He has sacrificed everything for us. He is smitten with love for us.
I am riding high from this revelation of love. My heart for my daughter is still flowing over. But it is the love of the Father and the Groom that is piercing my soul today. What is the level of your revelation of His love? Do you know that Jesus, the Groom, is head over heels in love with you? Do you realize that your Father in heaven sees you as His, a piece of Him, a deeply imbedded attachment in His being; that whatever time you have had together alone has not been enough; that your eyes have not gazed into the others' long enough; that your sweet uninterrupted times together have not been slow enough; and that His value of you has not been felt by you sincerely enough?
Go ahead and put your arm in His. The Father is leading you down the aisle, bursting with love as He joins you with the Groom who is ridiculously in love with you. Embrace the revelation! Be complete with the bond of love!