I have officiated at a lot of weddings. Often planned according to the dreams of the bride, each of the weddings has been unique. But one thing is the same: adorned in their wedding dresses with hair beautifully done and faces aglow, brides steal the show.

I find it intriguing that God describes us as His bride. Speaking of the church, He says, “The marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7 esv).

This is a great thought for those of us who have become discouraged about the condition of the church. I grew up as a pastor’s kid, pastored three churches, and have preached in churches all over the world. I’ve counseled both pastors and parishioners about deep and troubling problems in the church. And though the church often seems unlovable, my love for the church has not changed.

But my reason for loving the church has changed. I now love it most of all for whose it is. The church belongs to Christ; it is the bride of Christ. Since the church is precious to Him, it is precious to me as well. His love for His bride, as flawed as we may be, is nothing less than extraordinary!