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The ... Beautiful? ... Bride of Christ

I am not a conventionally beautiful woman. Yet, ever since our first days as a couple, my husband has insisted that I am gorgeous.

For nearly a decade, I believed this was simply a kindly intentioned lie.

But it bothered me.

You see, I know this man. He is ridiculously intelligent. He is honest to a fault. And he’s not blind! How could this man be the same person that looks me up and down in full light and declares me “so beautiful?”

Finally, one day, I got it.

My husband really, truly, sees me as the world’s most beautiful woman.

And he’s not crazy.

Somehow, the magic of his love takes my bumps and stretch marks, my acne and every ounce of my obese body, and turns it into something beautiful.

When I look at the church, I don’t see beauty. I see pride and selfishness, anger and ignorance. In my eyes, the church looks more like a movie’s over-the-top portrayal of a witch, a prostitute, or a zombie than the blushing bride of Christ. How could he go to her? How could he even tolerate her?

I think the answer is simply a more perfect version of my husband’s love for me.

Jesus doesn’t wait for the church to be perfect. He doesn’t wait for the make-up, the white dress, or shimmering veil. He loves her right now, as she is, and his love transforms her into something beautiful.

And someday, Jesus will take his bride. Her pain and ugliness will be forgotten, and His love will change her fully into the beautiful church he has always loved.

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