Marriage Metaphors

On a Saturday morning, last spring…

This morning I woke up way too early. It was my regular time when I get up, have my quiet time, do a short work out and get ready for work, but it was still way too early. It's Saturday, for heaven’s sake! This is a sleep in day! But, there I was, wide-eyed awake, my wife snuggled under my arm sleeping and still, a breeze stirring the curtain – all at 5:00 AM!

To be honest, early or not, I was content. My wife trusts me and finds peace when my arm is around her, holding her close. She knows that I will protect her and stand between her and danger. She knows that I will do my best to provide for her needs. She knows that I love her. It's an expression of her feminine spirit to find fulfillment in interaction with and submission to me, her husband. By the same token, it is an expression of my masculine nature to stand as that protector/provider/lover who meets her needs. She can trust me.

Where my mind ran this morning before I got up, was to the image that marriage presents of our relationship with the Lord. The Bible talks of the church – the body of all true believers – as the bride of Christ. God the Holy Spirit inspired the writers of the New Testament to use that metaphor in describing our relationship with him. Marriage is an interactive and dynamic picture, lived out in real time, of that interactive and dynamic relationship we have with God. Every facet of the marriage relationship speaks allegorical volumes about God, His nature and ways, and our life with Him. For instance, my wife sleeping under my arm in trust and submission is a perfect image of how the church is to rest peacefully in Him, trusting in His care and submitting to His leadership.

The most awesome part about all this, for me, is that God built into our very natures and daily lives a metaphor that teaches us about Him and how to live with Him. Is God awesome or what?

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church…”
Ephesians 5:25-27

“Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
Revelation 21:2