I suppose I’m like most girls. It’s approximately two months before my wedding day, and I’ve upped my usual 5 times a week to the gym to 6 times a week. I’ve limited my sugar intake (quite the fete for me), and I’ve invested in some good skin and hair care products. I’ve got fitness and health goals from here until next Thursday and back.
And so far, I’ve been pretty successful. At the physical anyways.
What I’m realizing tonight is that my spiritual goals are lagging somewhere far behind, like some sad senior playing on the JV team.
Currently, my one spiritual goal for now until March 30th (in 51 days and 18 hours) is to finish a Bible study I’m doing on the life of the Apostle John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. If I work on my study 5-6 days a week for the next 7 weeks, I should be able to finish it before the Big Day. And what I’m realizing even more than just the ridiculous difficulty in keeping that one spiritual goal when I can squat my own physical body weight, is that that one goal is probably far more important than all of my physical ones combined. The aspiration, task, journey towards being spiritually ready for marriage, if met, or at least in process, is probably a much more profound, long-lasting, and selfless achievement than any number of inches counted around my waist or pounds dropped on the scale. Those external things, in comparison to the internal things, are much more vain, shallow, and fleeting than a Proverbs 31 woman would claim, for a noble wife, who can find? Her worth is far greater than kettle bell thrusters, heavy deadlifts, and Chanel perfume.
And the thing about studying John is this. That man loved Jesus. He was the disciple that Jesus loved, but boy, did John love Him right back. He loved Him. In a He is my best friend and my big brother and the man whose mother I will care for as my own kind of way. In a everyone else has left Him, scared, but I follow Him to the cross and I watch my Hero die an agonizing death because I love Him too much to ever leave Him, even in His darkest, most unutterably painful to be a part of hour kind of way. Perhaps it seems weird, but Jesus’ life, seen through the lens of John, as though I can kind of channel John’s soul for a few weeks, helps me see Jesus as my own Hero, Best Friend, Big Brother, and Savior better. I am beginning to grasp more of what it means to be a good friend. And to want desperately to be one.
And this, this is an even greater gift than the one I could give to my Zachary on our wedding day. To be a faithful friend to Jesus. To be the bride adorned for her heavenly Bridegroom. Not that I could ever give Jesus a gift He needs, but I think this is one He probably desperately wants. My spiritual fitness, my faith, my forever “I do and I will, til death does NOT do us part, and I am Your’s Lord, forever.”
If you are a friend of mine, I ask you, help me stay accountable to pursuing spiritual fitness and faithfulness to Jesus these next pre-nuptial days, and all the happily ever after ones too.