When you’re going through a crisis, time slows down. Each heart beat pounds out seconds like hours. As hard as it is to believe, it was only seven months (not years) ago when I was listening to a pastor give a sermon on marriage. It seemed appropriate to pay attention, since my own was crumbling.
The pastor talked about the male affinity for action movies. The plot generally followed the same theme. The hero would be pushed out into the world on some noble adventure to save the girl. It would cost him dearly; but in the end, he would prevail. No matter how many explosions, wars, wrecks, losses, or struggles the hero endured, he always went back for his girl in the end. That’s the part of the movie that made you want to stand up and cheer! Who could stay impartial to that final climatic rescue when love won, happily ever after finally happened, and all discord was resolved?
Now, I know the more modern-day movies are focusing on girl power these days. I love those movies too! I relate to those heroines who have to fight their own battles. I’ve lived it. However, sometimes it gets difficult to always be strong. Sometimes, a girl just wants to rest and feel safe, to be protected when the exhaustion sets in, to lay the sword and shield into stronger hands when life gets too hard.
The pastor talked about how husbands, after they get married, can go out on their own career conquests just like the heroes in action films. They fight their dragons in the boardrooms. They march out, weapons drawn, to their next great promotion or degree, ready to take on the world!
Yet, unlike the hero in the story, many men stay in the battle. They forget to go back for the girl! They keep working the long hours. They take the trips away. They move to another country to pursue their dreams, and leave their wives behind. They shrink from engaging in the tough conversations of marriage. They let their career pursuits define them, and not their role as a husband. They pursue conquest after conquest while forgetting the very thing that had inspired them to begin their adventure in the first place. They leave their partner alone.
Warrior of One
My entire adult life, I don’t think I’ve ever had any man fight for me. To compensate for that, I had to become strong. I stood up for myself when no one else would. Open hands turned to fists against the world. I quickly learned that I had to come to my own defense and take care of myself.
Sadly, I think this is the reality for many women. You learn life’s cruel lessons alone. You either crumble to pieces or grow into a warrior. There is no middle ground in survival.
However, as I’m learning more about God’s character, I’ve discovered one of the greatest truths I could ever learn about my King. He answers my deepest heart cry. He fights for me!
The more I fall in love with Him, the more I accept that I can lay my sword down. In my innermost core, all I have ever wanted was to be protected, loved, and cherished. I want someone to feel inspired to fight for my heart. It has yet to happen for me. So, I’ve come to accept the reality that I may go through my life without a earthly champion. And that’s o.k. I have a much better alternative!
God is Our Husband
You see, our King looked at you and me and “greatly desired your beauty.” (Psalms 45:11) He fell recklessly in love with us! He saw us struggling in sin, and planned out the greatest rescue mission the universe had ever conceived!
The prophet Ezekiel gives us such beautiful imagery on God’s love for His people.
“When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,” says the Lord God.” Ezekiel 16:8
Don’t tell me that God isn’t a romantic at heart! This next amazing verse drives it home.
“For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, like a youthful wife when you were refused,” Says your God.” Isaiah 54:5-6
When I read that verse, it felt like God wrote it just for me! It sums up my life story. Yet, even though I was refused and rejected by my earthly husband, my Heavenly Husband called my name. He reached out His hand and said, “Come to me, Sarah. I want you! I see your worth! I loved you so much I gave up my life for you! You are mine!”
The Greatest Love Story
You see, God couldn’t leave me to sin’s penalty. He couldn’t let me die! So, He gave up Heaven’s perfection. He walked this broken planet. He took all the ridicule, scourging, beatings, and finally death so that you and I could go free. He took our place, He suffered, and He died… to rescue us.
And that unfathomable act of love isn’t even the end! Jesus came first in humble sacrifice to deliver us from sin, but He’s coming back again in warrior power to reclaim His bride from the final wrath of the enemy. This time, instead of coming as the lowly baby, He’s the knight riding a white stallion. You can read about it in Revelation.
“Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written:
KING OF KINGS AND
LORD OF LORDS.”
Revelation 19: 11-16
Talk about your action-movie ending! My Savior is coming back for me! To rescue me! To take me away from the pain and tears! To wash the battle dust and blood from my body, cover me with a white robe, and hold me close to His heart!
Another verse I read daily is Isaiah 35:4.
“Say to those who are fearful-hearted, “Be strong, do not fear! Behold, your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you.”
Can’t you see it now? The girl is broken, bleeding, fallen in dust, fingers clinging to the final strands of rubble beneath her. Her strength is spent. The enemy stands over her, ready to deliver the death blow. She sees the sword’s shadow fall across hers. Yet, then she looks up from her impending doom. She can’t take her tear-filled eyes off the sky. She sees light suddenly explode, breaking through the darkness to encircle her. Her Champion comes into view: strong, courageous, brave. She sees the most intense love she’s ever known emanating from His face as He rides to her rescue! They lock eyes, and she’s the only person in the world to Him. Tears of joy fall from her cheeks as the sword clashes to the ground and the enemy collapses at her side without even a fight – felled by a single word from her Savior. The nail-pierced hand sheaths the sword, and then reaches for her. She is picked up in arms strong enough to hang planets in place, and gently held to His chest. She closes her eyes and listens to His heartbeat as He takes her home.
Sisters, this is the love story you’ve always longed for, and it’s found in scripture’s ancient pages. Don’t get me wrong, God also calls men to step up to this role: to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her. Yet, as we get closer to Christ’s soon coming, prophecy tells us that “because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12) However, even if they fail us, Jesus does not. If you have only seen rejection from men who vowed to love you, please don’t let their broken example dim your understanding of God’s passion for you!
See Yourself Through His Eyes
Like me, is your deepest heart cry to be cherished and protected? Have you looked into eyes void of all love, and pleaded with someone to fight for you – only to be met with listless apathy? Have you given up ever finding earthly love in this broken world?
Let me tell you, ladies, there is Someone worthy of your heart! He will never lie to you, replace you, give up on you, or stop loving you. If you’ve offered your heart to those who didn’t know your worth, who have left you abandoned and alone, struggling to understand why you weren’t enough, please don’t give up! Even if you’re never held by earthly arms, you will find the nail-scared hands to be stronger than you dared to dream!
Your King will fight for you! He will come to save you! He will rescue you and love you like you’ve never been loved before! He will reveal the version of yourself that He sees… and when you see yourself through His eyes, you finally realize your value to Him.
If your sword is getting heavy, if your arm is trembling from the strain of one more battle, just lay everything down at Jesus’ feet. You don’t have to fight anymore. Fall into His arms. Let Him love you. It’s time to just be held… and be grateful Jesus doesn’t forget to go back for the girl!