“…and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Eph 5:27
After his church was founded what Christ was going after was to build for himself a bride “without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish,” so that she might be suited to married and be united to the Lamb. We, as a church of God, are being prepared even at this very moment to become pure and holy so that Christ can make his second coming to take us home, which is the final completion of our salvation.
That was what the parable of the ten virgins told by the Lord Jesus was signifying. We as a church of God ought to be alert and vigilant at all times while we are waiting for the Bridegroom to come to take us, for we have no idea when his coming will be.
What can we do to prepare ourselves as individual Christians for Christ’s return? Well, we can probably ask a bride engaged to be married how to prepare for her impending wedding. Obviously she will try to maintain clean living, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, before the wedding date, so that she can be at her best when the time comes. I think it’s prudent to ask ourselves a question in the midst of doing something: “Will I be ashamed if Christ comes back right at this moment and sees me doing this?” If so, it merely means that we are not ready to welcome him back yet.
Keeping ourselves clean and pure inside and out is the best way to prepare for Christ’s return. If we fail to do so to the best of our ability, it will be a sad and terrifying moment when Christ in his full glory suddenly appears before our eyes. We must lead a life in such a way as if the Lord were returning any time.
“What does this have to do with our marriage?” we question.
Christ is preparing for himself a perfect bride and, when the time comes, he will present her to himself and the two shall forever be united as father and son, husband and wife, and as friends, which encompasses all facets of human love relationships. By the same token, we husbands should learn from Christ in his preparation of his church by exhorting, teaching, praying, leading, and comforting our wives, with the ultimate goal of presenting her to Christ as a radiant bride and, in the meantime, we get to enjoy our wives’ radiance as well. As a matter of fact, a husband and wife are the smallest church congregation there is, and both parties within the marriage relationship should be mutually prepared as a church unit to be ready for Christ’s return.
We obviously become the main benefactors if our wives become purer and free of any wrinkle and blemish, yet ultimately it’s an act of obedience to God that we do all we can to prepare our wives to become Christ’s brides in the same manner as what he is doing for his church.