Category Archives: Marriage

Aug 25 Marriage Conference, October 9th-11th, 2015

Whether you’ve been married for 50 years or 15 days, the Marriage Conference at Look Up Lodge is a powerful experience for any couple. Spend a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and invest in growing as husbands and wives. God set out some clear commands for how we are to love each other, even when it isn’t easy. This retreat is a great opportunity to communicate with your spouse and work through how His Word should shape the way we think about Love, Sex, and Marriage. Come spend some time away and take in the beautiful surroundings as we deliver foundational teachings that integrate God’s Word and proven marital techniques.

October 9th-11th, 2015
Price $139 per couple (69.50 per person)
Call today to reserve your spot! 864.836.6392


Mar 23 Weekend, March 20-22, 2015


This past week was quite the weekend at Look Up Lodge. We had several groups on camp taking advantage of our custom retreat options. Pictured above is Denver UMC enjoying a restful afternoon on their custom “Know and be Known” retreat.

Also pictured above is our annual Love, Sex, and Marriage Conference (LSM). This conference is hosted by Look Up Lodge with the intent of integrating God’s Word and proven marital/relational techniques into your marriage. Upcoming marriage conferences include:

LSM October 9-11, 2015

LSM 2.0 March 18-20, 2016 (LSM 2.0 is reserved for those who have already experienced LSM)

You can sign up today by calling Look Up Lodge at (864) 836.6392. 

As the weekends pass by at Look Up Lodge, that can only mean one thing; Summer is almost here. Not just any summer, but Look Up Lodge’s 50th summer. This summer is sure to be the most deep, most fun, most camptastic of them all. The first summer sneak peek coming later this week. 

#50yrsoflookup #cantwaitforlookup #lookuplodge2015 @lookuplodgesc

Sep 19 We Are The Bride

Marriage Retreat

Hey folks,

Click on the picture above for an incredible read. It is a chapter excerpted from a book called “Echoes of His Presence” by Ray Vander Laan that paints an absolutely beautiful picture of the marriage metaphor in Scripture (that we talked about here) through a fictional, but historically accurate, account of a couple preparing for marriage in the 1st century. The story is beautifully told and the information is enlightening.

If you haven’t heard of Ray Vander Laan, he is an expert on the Scriptures and has an incredible gift for teaching the words of Jesus and other Biblical figures within their relevant historical and cultural context.  He has some amazing videos that are often taught on location in the Middle East, as well as a selection of books, and a very useful website (

Here’s a pic of some of our, very bearded, boys (Walter Howard, Zack Heard, and Greg Boone) on a trip to Israel that they were blessed enough to take with Ray Vander Laan (affectionately known as RVL) in 2012.

Marriage Retreat

All of this marriage talk is getting me very excited for our upcoming Marriage Retreat (Oct. 4-6). The stuff that we have planned for you guys is really exciting! If you haven’t booked yet, it’s not too late, just call Kathy at 864.836.6392. I hope you’ll be able to make it!

See you soon,

Nathan Heffington
Creative/Ministry Development Coordinator

Sep 9 Marriage as a Metaphor: Part I

Hey folks,

Over the next little bit, we’ll be posting some thoughts on marriage as well as resources and links that might be interesting or beneficial. The goal is to generate study and discussion amongst each other and in your communities. For those of you that will be attending our Marriage Conference in October, these posts will serve to “prime the pump” and get you in the mindset to fully take advantage of what we will be working through together. You can access other posts in this series by clicking the “Marriage” link on the right.

This particular entry will involve challenging you to study out the marriage metaphor while thinking about historical and Biblical context. It is a big post, so I broke it up into two parts. If you want to skip the explanation and jump to the activity, go straight to Part II.

Marriage is such an important and beautiful metaphor for the relationship between Jesus and the Church. It ties together to so many events and passages in the Old and New Testaments, provides insight into our lives today, and foreshadows the incredible future that is to come. If we understand the metaphor, we not only gain perspective on earthly marriages, but we deepen our understanding of the Scriptures as a whole. The more we learn about what God has to say about it, the more we learn about His relationship with us. If we want to understand what He has to say from the Scriptures, it is really valuable to think about the cultural setting that they were written in.

Cultural context is important because when Jesus, Paul, or one of the Old Testament writers talk about marriage or use it as a metaphor, they are talking to a specific group of people that have a specific understanding of what marriage is like. That understanding, the picture that would have popped into their heads, is likely very different from ours. This, by the way, is true of lots of things throughout the Bible. The culture that we live in creates a sort of lens that affects how we perceive everything that we read. That lens determines the definitions we associate with words, how we interpret interactions between people and groups, how we understand social constructs, and on and on. It can be incredibly helpful and enlightening for us, living in 2013, to do some research into how audiences living in the first century, or even earlier, might have understood what they were hearing from Jesus and others.

Biblical context is also extremely important because the Bible isn’t just a collection of one-liners and short stories. It is an incredible narrative of God’s interaction with humanity. It’s the absolutely epic story of His love for us and our redemption through His grace. It builds on itself and it is meant to be understood and regarded as a whole. The New Testament makes little sense without the Old Testament. The Old Testament is incomplete without the New. It is all relevant. It is all related. When we are studying out an idea, it is important that we do so with this mindset.

Also, as a kind of merger of these two concepts, it is necessary to understand that many of the audiences in the New Testament would have been very well versed in the Scriptures. This would be especially true in situations in which Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees, but applicable in lots of other situations as well. This is significant because it means that Jesus, the Gospel writers, and the authors of the Epistles might make references to Old Testament texts that they would expect their audience to understand. If we aren’t familiar with the referenced passages and we skip over reading the relevant cross-references, we are likely to miss some of the meaning of what is being said. To interpret the Scriptures, we need to know the Scriptures.

In Part II, we are going to put this into action and practice studying the Scriptures, a skill that doesn’t always seem to be pursued tenaciously, but is such a joyous part of a relationship with the Father. So, get out your Bible and when your clicking finger’s ready, hit the link below.

Click here to continue on to Marriage as a Metaphor: Part II

Nathan Heffington
Creative/Ministry Development Coordinator


Marriage as a Metaphor: Part II

Ok, everyone still with me?

Here’s a quick recap of Part I:

1) We know that marriage and wedding practices are common and important metaphors used to describe our relationship with Christ in the Bible. 2) We know that there are differences in the way that these metaphors would be interpreted today and in their original context because of cultural and historical distance. 3) We know that the Bible is to be understood as a complete picture of God’s story, not just isolated fragments.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think there is incredible value in digging into the Scriptures on our own and in community and not solely relying on pre-packaged messages from outside sources. So, here’s the idea. I’ll start us off with a few questions designed to start some trains of thought relating to the concept of marriage in the Bible. From there, you jump in and go where the Holy Spirit takes you. I’ll provide a couple links and resources that might help you get started. Work with your small groups, youth pastors, friends, students, or whoever and just see what you can learn. There is so much depth to God’s word and it is a joy to grow in understanding.

When you learn something cool or find a helpful resource and think it might be worth sharing , please do. Share it with people in your life and share it with us. Leave a comment here, post it on Facebook, or Tweet it with the hashtag “WeAreTheBride” so we can be inspired by one another.

Here’s a couple notes before we start:

1) Begin and end with Scripture. There is a lot to learn from other sources, but they are really the most useful when they are informing and adding to what you find in the Bible.

2) The goal is to learn about God. Use the questions and resources listed below as a rough guide only. There is no specific assignment or secret answer. You don’t have to try to answer all of the questions. Everything listed below is just to get you thinking. Consult the Holy Spirit and follow your train of thought wherever it leads. If this is something you aren’t familiar with, my suggestion would be to take a minute and pray, asking the Holy Spirit to teach you and guide you. Then read over the questions and resources and just see what jumps out, following whatever trail you like.

3) Google is a great friend, but check your sources carefully. Shockingly, not everyone on the internet knows what they’re talking about.

4) A concordance, whether online or in print, is a great way to find verses that you are looking for.

5) You don’t need to be married for this to be worth studying. This is more about Him than it is about us.

6) Remember, if marriage is constantly used as a metaphor for our relationship with God, understanding what God means when He uses the metaphor helps us understand Him.

7) This is meant to be interactive. Use this as an opportunity to talk to people in your life about what the Bible has for us. Work together. Ask questions of us in the comments or via email, Facebook, or Twitter.

Here we go. First, some questions.

Questions to consider

What are some verses in the Bible that talk about Jesus as the bridegroom? Who is the bride?

Are there any wedding ceremonies that are described in the Bible?

What were ancient Jewish weddings like?

What is a Ketubah?

What is a Chuppah?

When marriage is used as a metaphor in the Bible, what is it used to represent?

What is the marriage feast of the Lamb?

What do you think, if anything, Matthew 24:36 has to do with marriage customs?

Do any Bible figures stand out in your head as having good marriages? Bad marriages? Why?

What does Jesus mean in John 14 when he says “My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?”

What does Jesus have to say specifically about the relationship between a husband and a wife? What about Paul?

Sometimes people use 1 Peter 3:7 as a sort of attack against women. What do you think were the original intention of Peter’s words?

What is a bride price?

Does the giving of the Law have any symbolic significance in terms of the marriage metaphor?

Why is it important that we fight for strong marriages today?

What should single ladies be looking for in a husband?

What should single guys be looking for in a wife?

How should a single girl prepare for being a wife?

How should a single guy prepare for being a husband?

What makes a good husband?

What makes a good wife?

If our marriages are supposed to model Christ and the Church, what should dating look like?


Some Resources

The Blue Letter Bible website is a great resource for searching through the Bible, browsing commentaries, and doing word studies in Greek and Hebrew. To see Greek and Hebrew definitions, use either the KJV or NASB translations and make sure the “Strong’s” box is clicked at the top of the page. Then click on the floating number next to the word you are studying.

Accordance is a really handy iPhone Bible app that lets you do word studies as well access dictionaries, photos, and other useful information.

Here is a quick overview of ancient Jewish marriage customs from, a trusted source, to get you thinking. It might be worth your while to explore some of the other content on this site as well.

Our Father Abraham by Marvin R. Wilson is a really good read if you are interested in understanding more about Hebrew culture and thought and how it helps us understand Jesus.


Again, I would love to hear from you about what you learn and can teach us or if you have any questions. Comment, email, or use the Twitter hashtag “WeAreTheBride.” I pray that God would reveal some amazing truth to you!

Nathan Heffington
Creative/Ministry Development Coordinator

Aug 30 Look Up Lodge Marriage Conference 2013


Look Up Lodge Marriage Conference

Hey married people!

As many of you may know, in a little over a month (Oct. 4-6), we will be hosting our Love, Sex, and Marriage Conference for married couples.

I don’t know what might pop into your mind when you think about a “marriage conference.” If one of the first things is, “Oh, those are for people with broken marriages. Not me. Not us. We have a good marriage,” there is something I want to share with you.

Lots of marriages fall apart in our country. That is not new information for you, I’m sure. My fear is, that because it’s so bad out there, we as Christians will decide to settle for “just not falling apart.” I’m afraid that we might get comfortable and proud if we can have one of the 50% of marriages that don’t end in divorce.

I’m afraid because, if that becomes our mindset, Satan will have tricked us into believing that our goal in marriage is simply to keep it together – to make sure we don’t become a statistic. This is a very subtle shift away from the incredibly important purpose that God has for marriage. All of the sudden, we become so focused on where we don’t want end up that we forget that God hasn’t only called us away from divorce, but towards something revolutionary.

Marriage, after all, is one of the most powerful and prevalent metaphors that scripture uses to symbolize the relationship between Christ and the Church. With our marriages, we are called to reflect this relationship to the world. Our marriages are meant to be living, breathing representations of the Gospel on Earth. People should be able to spend time at our dinner tables and leave with a deeper knowledge of the Father and His love for them – not because we spent the whole time telling them about the Gospel, but because we lived it out in front of them. Because husbands learn to live like the masculine images of God that they were created to be and women learn to live like the feminine images of God that they were created to be.

We live in a world with very low standards for marriage. Satan would love to convince us that that means it is ok for us to lower ours as well. One of our enemies is divorce, for sure, but another, and perhaps an even a more powerful one, is mediocrity.

That’s what our Love, Sex, and Marriage Conference is about. It is about cultivating vision for marriages that defy the statistics and refuse to settle for “just mediocre”, even if it means sacrifice and hard work. It is about building foundations that the next generation can adopt and build on. It is about learning together, what it means to reflect the King of the Universe in everything we do, especially in something that is as important to Him as our marriages.

If you would like to joins us on Oct. 4-6 for Love, Sex, and Marriage or hear more, give Kathy a call at 864.836.6392. We’ve decided to discount this conference (only $69.50 per person!) because we  believe that the material is so important and we want you to be able to bring as many couples with you as possible.  (“What?,” you say, “That can’t be right! That price is too low! Surely that’s a typo?” It is not a typo, we just love you that much.) It’s going to be a blast. You can check out our website,, for more information on the Love, Sex, and Marriage conference as well as Summer Camp and other School Year Conferences.

Stay tuned for further links, information, and discussion on marriage in the scriptures!

See you soon!

Nathan Heffington
Creative/Ministry Development Coordinator