According to Jewish customs, the groom’s father offers an amount for his son’s bride based on what he can afford and the worth of the bride.

A story circulated about a man who thought his daughter as lovely as a fence post. She slouched, her smile was crooked, and she had no confidence or sense of style. What price could he fetch for such an offspring? With each sunset, his hopes for marrying her off–for any amount–dwindled.

But one day, the news this father longed to hear reached his ears. A man from out of town would ask for the girl’s hand in marriage. The father scarce could believe the report. He determined to accept whatever pittance was offered.

Imagine his shock when the groom-to-be proposed the price of six cows for his unattractive daughter. The father showed no disbelief but instead bowed in gracious and immediate agreement.

As the story goes, a few years later, the bride and groom returned to visit. Stunned at the beautiful woman standing before him, the father thought surely the man had divorced his daughter and married another. But as the couple conversed with the man, the answer became clear. His daughter saw her worth in the price her husband paid for her and lived up to his opinion of her. The ring on her finger couldn’t compare to the constant, dazzling smile she wore.

The Bible speaks of the Marriage Feast of the Lamb with the church — Jesus’ bride.

You and I are the church.
We believers are the bride.

We often base our worth on what the mirror shows, what the scale reads, or what our paycheck says. Worst yet, we derive our confidence from the world’s opinions and standards.

Thank God, while we were sinners, He showed His faithful love for us (Rom. 5:8). And He has plans for us that we can’t even begin to dream for ourselves (Jerm. 29:11).

God’s love for us is so great that He sent His son Jesus to pay the ultimate bride price. Not a dollar amount. Not an animal sacrifice. Certainly not the value assigned an unlovely, blemished bride. Jesus willingly died on the cross. Because of His sacrifice, He longs to present us to His Father as His beautiful, redeemed bride.

In fact, God says our worth is beyond rubies and gold! Let’s live up to it!

What do you have to do to earn the highest amount ever paid for a bride?

Only believe (Acts. 16:31).

By Amre Cortadino

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