I have two large shoeboxes in the top of my closet that, by all appearances, look old and worn out. In fact, they are pretty old. These two boxes hold all the letters and cards that my wife has given me over the years that we’ve known each other. We met in our junior year of high school, and it’s pretty funny to go back and read of our innocent love for one another and how we longed to be in each other’s company.
Later, when I was in bootcamp with the United States Air Force, she would send me letters of love and encouragement that helped me get through our time of separation. I keep those mementos to this day as a reminder of our feelings for one another and the bond of commitment that we share. It reminds me to never take her for granted and to always recall the innocence and purity of when we first fell in love.
There’s another such love letter that we all have access to and its message has always stood the test of time. The Bible is the most beautiful love letter ever written, and we have it preserved for us so that we may never forget that we are truly and wholly loved. The story of God and his love for us is a remarkable one, one in which we see what real love and commitment look like. All that he has done to redeem us to himself is, by far, the most amazing act of love of all time. God himself, Christ in the flesh, bought us back, his adulterous bride, with his own blood, and the Bible is testament to that glorious gospel message. We simply can’t miss it…God loves us more than we could ever imagine.
One of the best ways to understand this is by studying all of the analogies between human marriage and the marriage of Christ and the church that are spoken of in the Bible. Books like Hosea and Ephesians tell of the sacrificial love that one should have for their spouse and it’s the same kind of love that Jesus has for us. It’s a love that looks at the faults of the other and chooses to still love anyway. It’s a love that strives for perfection for the one who is chosen. And God tells us of this ideal union all throughout his word. It’s a love letter that’s there for us to read and to relish every day.
God wants you to know him just as a husband and wife know each other physically (Ephesians 5:31-32). But the intimacy of the sexual union between marriage partners pales in comparison to the closeness that God desires with each of his children. He longs for you to fall into his arms, into his rest, into his grace and mercy. He wishes for you to reciprocate that love and give yourself freely and completely to him. He hopes that you will continually read his love letter to you and know, in the deepest part of your heart and soul, that there is nothing in all of creation that can separate you from his love (Romans 8:38-39).