“That he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 26-27 ESV)
Growing up, I remember laundry day being an all-day chore. My dad and I lived in an apartment complex, and although the laundry room was located in the center of the hall, we were on the opposite end of that hall. When the time came to wash clothes, we would throw all our dirty clothing into baskets, set the cleaning detergent on top, and tote the mounds of clothing down the long hall.
I despised that long hallway. My father knew how difficult it was for me to drag or push the baskets, and he would often take them down for me. After they were done washing and drying–usually late at night–I was tired and relieved. However, I found ironing my clothes to be of equal importance.
Another task I didn’t enjoy.
Thankfully, from childhood into my late teen years, my dad took that on as well. I’d set them on the ironing board the night before and my clean clothes would be ironed too!
My father took wonderful care of me. He showed me that he not only wanted me to be healthy and nourished, but presentable as well.
He didn’t want me walking around with stains or wrinkles in my clothing. Out of his love for me, he ensured that I didn’t.
This is what our heavenly Father desires for us as well: for us to be presentable, without a spot or wrinkle.
In the book of Ephesians 5:26-27, Paul helps us to better understand God’s heart for His bride, the church. In it, he says,
“That he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (ESV)
These words reveal two things:
- God wants us as His church to be sinless
- God wants us as His bride to be stainless
So how do we become sinless and stainless?
We will talk more about that next week. For today, I want to have a transparent moment
I know that talking about God as a Father can be difficult for some, especially if our experiences with our earthly fathers are less than admirable. But I can reassure you that the love that flows from heaven to earth from our heavenly Father is both deep and wide for you. God is a good Father who cares about you as His child and loves you beyond human understanding. He is the standard of a good father; any other image of a father must be weighed on His scale, not Him on their scale.
As you prepare to read part two, remember this truth: you are loved deeply and unconditionally by God, your heavenly Father.