While writing this editorial, I was reminiscing on my past when my life and workload were very hectic. I was dealing with numerous issues, and sometimes my mind was occupied with many things. Once, my wife approached me to talk about a specific issue she wanted me to take care of. While she was talking, I was staring at her, but my mind was roaming around, thinking of something else. When she was done, I nodded my head as if I had heard and understood what she was saying, but at the end of the day, when she asked me if I had done what she had asked me to do, I was utterly speechless. I had no answer to give because, honestly, I hadn’t listen to what she had said. Why? Because I didn’t pay any ATTENTION to what she was saying. So I missed the message. My wife got annoyed because I hadn’t listened to her with ATTENTION. It made me realize that a lack of attention was not a good practice in developing a good relationship between us in our marriage.
Later, as I was contemplating what had happened, I came across a lecture by a well-known Indonesian marriage counselor, Dr. Wimpie Pangkahila. He mentioned that a woman has three primary needs in her life. Number one is ATTENTION, number two is ATTENTION, and number three is ATTENTION. After the lecture the counselor said, “The most important thing the husband should give to his wife is ATTENTION.” I laughed bitterly to myself and said, “I failed to provide my wife with her most basic need—ATTENTION.” I blamed myself for not giving her what she needs.
The imagery and symbolism of marriage are applied to Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:25-27 illustrates to us that Christ, the bridegroom, has sacrificially given His life for His bride, the church, so that those who love and trust Him would receive eternal life. He cares for His “bride” and meets her needs. He watches His “bride” with full ATTENTION, and He loves His “bride” with endless love. See what Matthew wrote in Matthew 6:28-32, 34 (NIV): “ ‘And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. . . . Therefore do not worry about tomorrow.’ ”
What a huge contradiction between a “human” and the “divine” bridegrooms. One gives less or no ATTENTION to his bride, and the other One gives full ATTENTION to and meets the needs of the bride. As a “bride,” we can count on our “divine bridegroom,” that He will watch over us ATTENTIVELY; He will meet our needs and help us to reach our goals. Therefore, do not worry about anything. The only thing we need to do is to be qualified for this promise by giving ATTENTION to His Word and obeying His command recorded in Matthew 6:33: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
A reminder was posted online by an unknown writer, “IF GOD COULD close the lions’ mouths for Daniel, part the Red Sea for Moses, make the sun stand still for Joshua, open the prison for Peter, put a baby in the arms of Sarah, and raise Lazarus from the dead, THEN He can certainly take care of you! NOTHING you are facing today is too hard for Him to handle!” What an awesome God!