On a recent Saturday morning in May, millions around the world tuned in to witness the wedding ceremony of Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle. Were you among the scores of adoring fans who woke early to watch?
There’s something about the royal family (and their weddings in particular) that fascinates the watching world. We especially love the fact that both Prince William and Prince Harry looked beyond royal blood and chose an ordinary citizen to be their bride. It’s like a magical fairytale come to life!
As I watched the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex being led by horse-drawn carriage through the streets of Windsor, I couldn’t help but wonder what Meghan’s life would be like after the flowers wilted and the music faded.
When she said “I do,” Meghan committed to a new life unlike anything she’s ever known. As a new member of the royal family, Meghan will be expected to live and behave in a manner that reflects and honors the Queen above her own personal interests. For instance, she must now adhere to a specific list of rules that include not wearing wedges or mini skirts, no crossing her legs, no selfies, no autographs, and no social media. (Think you could manage that list?)
Learning from Meghan
While we may not be part of the royal family, we could learn a thing or two from the Queen’s rulebook. I’m not advocating we throw out our wedges or refuse to take selfies. But like Meghan, we should live in a way that is mindful of the One we represent. Our King is much greater and more worthy of respect than even the British Monarch.
If Jesus is Lord of your life, you’re called to live in a manner worthy of the gospel (Eph. 4:1). Your life is no longer all about you and your desires. Actually, it never was.
In 1 Corinthians 6, the apostle Paul explains that as a daughter of the King, your life is not your own. You were bought with a price and are to honor God in everything you do (1 Cor. 6:19–20). There are numerous other passages in the New Testament that remind us how a follower of Christ should live, such as Ephesians 4:1–2, Philippians 1:27, Colossians 1:9–10, and 1 Thessalonians 2:12, to name a few.
You’re Not on Probation
When we read lists of instructions like the passages above, we typically feel pressured to perform. We have this misconception that God posts a list of rules on a public bulletin for us to keep or else!
Of course, we can never simply muster up the energy or willpower to always be “good.” That’s why Jesus clothes us with His righteousness and exchanges our tainted record for His clean one (2 Cor. 5:21).
In contrast to the rules Meghan Markle or any other royal are required to keep, we are welcomed into God’s family with no stipulations or obligations. Jesus made sure of that by living a sinless life in our place, keeping every rule we couldn’t possibly hope to obey.
Living for Jesus is the outflow of a heart filled with gratitude and awe for your Savior.
Yes, when Jesus asks us to take up our cross and follow Him, that’s a high calling. We’re told to be imitators of God, to be holy as He is holy, and to walk in love. But this calling is not a demand from an unreasonable ruler, nor is it back payment for the debt we owed. Living for Jesus is the outflow of a heart filled with gratitude and awe for your Savior. Think of it less like a life-long sentence of community service and more like a pleasant walk with a friend.
Your New Life in Christ
When Jesus saved you, He began a transforming work in you from the inside out. This is often referred to as sanctification, and it’s an ongoing process. Your heart and mind begin to change as Christ conforms you to His image, resulting in a change of habits and desires that reflect your Savior. These former passions have been crucified with Christ, and a new life in Him is now yours.
Ephesians 2 offers us a great visual for this contrast between the “old man,” our former life in sin, and the “new man,” a life washed clean by the blood of Jesus. As you read, remember that these characteristics are not something you work to achieve but are who you already are in Christ.
A Heavenly Wedding
Sweet sister, if you are a child of God, then Ephesians 2 is your reality. What an incredible new identity for a former rebel against the King! You were not a faithful, loyal subject, yet Jesus chose you to be His bride. Like Meghan Markle, you too now belong in a royal family.
His death brought you life and ushers you into His royal family.
This coming wedding between the Bridegroom and the Church, His Bride, will be the wedding to top all weddings. Revelation 19 gives us a sneak peek of that beautiful day. Millions will be there to join in the celebration. It will take place in a heavenly city far more spectacular than Windsor, bright and dazzling with gold and jewels. And best of all, we will be with Jesus!
He is the King of Kings worthy of all adoration. For He paid our redemption price with His own blood. His death brought you life and ushers you into His royal family. You can’t get any more happily ever after than that!