Welcome to the Bates family Blog! The family has 19 children. Erin married Chad in November 2013 and they have two children. Zach married Whitney in December 2013 and they have two children. Alyssa married John in May 2014 and they have two children. Michaella married Brandon in August 2015. Tori is engaged to Bobby Smith and will be getting married in December 2017. Carlin is in a relationship with Evan since September 2016. Josie is in a relationship with Kelton since Spring 2017.
Brandon and Michaella's blog: preparing for the big day part 2
Ever since our engagement began on April 13th, life has taken on a new challenge and thrill as we make preparations for the wedding while being in two different states. Since Tennessee and Illinois aren’t very close, much of our planning has involved texting information and pictures, emailing design ideas and music clips, and cell phone brainstorming sessions.
Having this distance between us – especially at this stage – hasn’t been the easiest thing in the world… but the Lord has been so gracious in providingseveral opportunities for us to be together. Having to deal with the distance has also allowed us to see more clearly that our relationship will be lacking if it doesn’t have the second thing that was mentioned in the last post… the “revelation of a mystery.”
The Bible talks about this mystery in the book of Ephesians, where it talks about Jesus and His bride becoming one (see Eph. 5:31-32). The “bride” that is mentioned is the group of people that have covenanted themselves to Jesus through commitment and belief. This covenant actually makes them “one” with Him, which is stated to be a “great mystery.” Andfor good reason! If you think about it, how could anybody, whether in the past or present, actually become “one” with Jesus? The answer is found through the covenant He offers to all humanity. This covenant is the only thing that can produce this oneness.
As we (Brandon and Michaela) anticipate entering into covenant with one another, where the two of us will “become one,” we realize that our uniting is only a picture and reflection of something God has established since the beginning of time, which is that the creation of God would be brought into true onenesswith Jesus Christ. We see that our marriage is only a representation of the ultimate marriage of Jesus Christ to His bride, and as we walk in the revelation of what that is, it is then that we can receive, not just the deepest kind of love for each other, but also the vibrant life and love that lasts forever.
But we also realize that these things can only be experienced through the commitment of a covenant.
(To be continued – Anticipating the making of our covenant.)