Anne and I were speaking at a singles workshop recently and just prior to my sharing I heard these words in my spirit: “My heart is still in process unto a deeper bridal union.” I instantly knew the meaning to be, that this is where my heart is, in this age, as I relate to the Lord Jesus. It also described to me the ongoing process of deepening union with my one flesh partner. “Deeper bridal union” is the vision before me, both vertically and horizontally.

I know singles who give a greater witness and testimony of this bridal union than many married couples. Later that same day as I was journaling, I heard these words: “Apostolic character is the fabric of a deeper union; it gives off a mature fragrance.” I use the term “apostolic” as relating to a character quality of maturity, or to describe one who carries an inward spiritual authority, the very least manifestation being eloquent words. Truly, it’s the deeper process of the heart that emits the bridal fragrance, not a marriage license.

Thirty years ago I transitioned from being a “single disciple” to being a “married disciple.” My desire to live for God, to be one who is zealous for holiness and whose chief aim is to glorify God, was joined to a woman with a like minded vision. What does a marriage like this look like?

In many respects, we don’t stop being a single person upon marriage. I still have my own garden to tend, a personal vigilance to maintain in my walk with God, and my wife and I don’t do everything together. What every couple does receive, is an “intensified mandate” unto personal growth and holiness. First John, chapter one, is a clear call to transparent, confessional living. Being married keeps one on a “short leash” lest he stray from the blessing of this lifestyle. Marriage is the land of opportunity when it comes to developing a lifestyle of fellowship with God and with one another. A “walk in the light” is a stroll I’ve taken pretty much daily in my marriage. It’s a grievous observation to see couples who’ve settled for a one flesh distant relationship.

I’m a great advocate of couples having a thorough premarital preparation. Along with the practical areas of transition to make ready for, there’s a great window for vision casting. Anne and I spent many hours working through a manual and discussing our life vision. Like the single walk, the married walk will have modifications to the plan along the way. Intent on perfecting His power in the safe zone of our weakness (God’s ¬†insurance policy for humility), we often wonder (singles & marrieds) if we’re starting over from square one! Brokenness has a way of obliterating horizons. We go through seasons where “looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith” is all we have. It’s in this place of brokenness where we all may boast in our weakness, that the power of Christ may rest upon us. This is where apostolic character is formed and a mature fragrance emitted.¬†This is the good soil for the seed of a deeper bridal union.