Ephesians 5:22 says, “For example, wives should submit to their husbands as if to the Lord.”
I had the privilege of officiating my nephew’s wedding in June this year. And no, I didn’t use vows in which the bride said, “obey,” I am drawn to this scripture in Paul’s letter to the church of Ephesus. Paul is speaking to members of the church about relationships of one to another. Paul sees in particular the relationship of Jesus to the church and the church to Jesus as an example for husband and wife.
“As for husbands, love your wives just like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her. He did this to make her holy by washing her in a bath of water with the word. He did this to present himself with a splendid church, one without any sort of stain or wrinkle on her clothes, but rather one that is holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
The key phrase for me here is “he did this to present himself with a splendid church.” Can you imagine what Jesus is thinking right now? In a book I am reading, the author opens with the words, “Your wife is ugly.” The author goes on to explain how this statement came into his dialogue, and the point he makes is that Christ still sees his bride as beautiful.
The book has led me to think about seeing the church as Christ does. What does the church look like in the eyes of Jesus? What is it in our church that makes Jesus stand up and take notice? If I should so live my life in the church in accordance to the idea that we are Jesus’ bride, how do I honor him? Is the church eternally stuck as an institution looking to sustain itself, or are we truly the bride of Christ?
I know this is all analogy. But then again, I’ve been married for 33 years now. I look at the trials Susan and I have endured. I’m counting on our marriage enduring and thriving until we have no breath. I struggle like so many looking at the church and thinking, “This is not how Christ intended it to be.” Currently, I am coming to look at my relationship in the church and viewing myself as a devotion of Christ. I ask you today, how do you see your commitment as the bride of Christ?
Worship God, Learn the Scriptures, Live it in the World!