I have had the privilege for the past few days to walk with a family as their matriarch heads to that end which we are all bound, death. This family, including the matriarch, approached death with a boldness that can only come from knowing the truth of the security of her life in Christ. They knew, without a doubt, that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). They grieved and are in grief, to be sure, but they are living the way the Bible calls us to, grief with hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13).
As I stood by her bedside with my fellow pastor and the family gathered around, the patriarch was holding his bride’s hand as her breathing was nearing an end. And he announced, “The Lord gave her to me for 63 years, and now He is taking her back.” He gets it. She belongs to the God of heaven and earth. With the name of the Triune God upon her forehead and the confession of the Lordship of Christ pouring from her lips, she is God’s daughter. And her husband recognized that she was given in to his care by the Father. Husbands, our wives are not first and foremost our wives, but His daughters. And God gives them to us to prepare to meet their true Husband, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:25-27). It was a beautiful moment, and a potent reminder.
Then, later that day, I met with some men from church to gather for prayer, and again I heard more of this understanding about the family. One of the young dads in our prayer group gave thanks to God in this way, “Father, I thank You for Your three children that You have given into my care…” He gets it too. His three children belong to God, and God has given them back to him to rear in righteousness. Through their baptism, they belong to their Father in heaven, and He says to the parents, “Teach them what this means.”
Both of these families reminded me that what we have is on loan from God. Husbands, how are you preparing your bride to stand in the presence of Christ? Dads, how are you training God’s children in righteousness and the fear of the Lord?