I love weddings and watching two people pledge their lives to each other. Settings, budget amounts, and Pinterest-achievement levels differ, but at every wedding there is always a girl in a white dress and a groom with a tear in his eye.
In many ceremonies, the minister mentions the wedding at Cana. This wedding was the scene of Jesus' first miracle in Scripture and is often used as an example of His blessing of weddings. Jesus attends a wedding where the wine runs out, so His mother asks Him to fix the problem. (I personally love this part of the story, and that God included it in the first place, because I am a Mom and moms want to fix problems- even other people's problems. And if we can't fix it ourself we hound our children into doing it.)
Jesus' solution to the wine shortage? Jesus instructs the servants fill water jars with water. These jars were not even for drinking water. They were special jars for holding water for purification. This was not the obvious answer to the dilemma.
But Jesus is rarely obvious. When the water came back out of those jars it had changed. It was not water any more, but wine of excellent quality- the kind that is reserved for special occasions.
You know, I don't think the Lord recorded this miracle in Scripture just so we will know Jesus approved of weddings. Rather, I think this transformation pictures what needs to happen to love in marriage.
When two people promise each other their hearts at the wedding altar, they are full of love. And it is true love. But the love brought to the wedding, while wonderful and warm and lovely, will never be enough to get you through a lifetime of good days and bad days, of gains and losses, of triumphs and tragedies.
The “love” we see in stories and movies is even worse. Like the cheap wine at the beginning of the wedding in Cana, it is about what you get, not what you give. About being satisfied, not serving. About finding “the one,” not about being “the one.” About finding a “soul mate,” instead of bringing to your marriage a soul satisfied and completed by Jesus. That kind of love runs out at the first bump in the road.
The love we bring to the altar must be changed and multiplied. It must become the kind that is more about giving than getting. It must become the kind that can bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things.
And now we are no longer talking about a natural kind of love. Now we are talking about a supernatural kind of love. We are talking about a purified love. A transformed love.
What our love needs is a purification jar and Jesus. It needs to be transformed from water to wine. Because we bring "water love" to our relationships and Jesus wants to make it into the best wine.
The Lord, who not only is the only One who can work the miracle of transforming our love, is also the One who showed us what sacrificial, authentic love looks like in the first place.
I John 4:19: We love, because He first loved us.
In marriage, our “cheap wine” love WILL eventually run out, and all we have to replenish it with is water. But if we bring that "water love" to Jesus, His miraculous grace can change it into something lasting..
We must give what love we have to Jesus, and let Him transform it into love of exceptional quality…into authentic love…into the “good stuff.” This authentic love lasts because it doesn't depend on my feelings, or my husband's actions, or any other fleeting item.
If you feel run out, dry, and depleted of love in your marriage today, you are primed for a Cana kind of miracle. Jesus is just waiting for you to ask.