Wednesday, April 13, 2011

What Does It Really Mean To Be the Bride of Christ?

Sin doesn't seem to be seen as a very dreadful thing in most circles today. Certainly, I would expect those that don't follow Christ to not think much about sin unless they were anticipating it. However, it bothers me when sin is an accepted thing among church goers and even among those that profess that Jesus has saved them by His death on the Cross. My current devotional book has a section that tells me to confess my sins each day. It's just an accepted fact that I have sinned and need forgiveness.

Before I go on, let me make clear what I mean by sin. Without getting into a deep theological discussion, for our purposes; sin is simply the willful transgression of the law of God.

For example: "I know that picking up a candy bar and walking out of the store without paying for it is stealing, but I am going to do it any way." (If you didn't know that before, now you do and you can consider it sin from now on.)

I'm not talking about sin as "missing the mark"--just making a mistake or being ignorant of the truth like an immature Christian may be.

For example: "I spoke a little harshly to my child while disciplining today, but my motive was to love her by giving her proper training. I will apologize for the harsh tone because it was not an indicator of what was really in my heart."

Did you know in the Bible when Israel willfully and knowingly went against God's commands that He called them spiritual adulterers? I sometimes wonder what would happen if we approached our marriages like we do our spiritual lives.

Imagine this scenario:

My husband and I are getting ready to go to bed for the night, and I say, "Oh, by the way, Honey, before I go to sleep I want to confess my sins for the day. I flirted with 3 people and had lustful thoughts about 2 others. Will you forgive me?" I somehow don't think that he would accept my explanation that no one is perfect and that my flesh is just weak. I'm not so sure God does either.

Although I see this bumper sticker often: "I'm not perfect, just forgiven.", I have yet to see this one: "I'm not faithful, just married." 

We like to talk about God as our loving, forgiving Heavenly Father, and He is! However, when Jesus comes back to take us to Heaven with Him, He is coming for His Bride. We make vows at the altar to stay faithful in every circumstance, and I trust that most of us do stay faithful to our husbands. So, why is it difficult to stay faithful to the One Who has and will never fail us?

The fact is that I am (and you are) able to stay faithful to your husband  because 1) you love him and 2) you are committed to him and your marriage. If we are true disciples of Jesus, the same two things are true of our relationship with Him.

How about if we pledge to treat our Heavenly Bridegroom at least as well as we do our earthly husbands?

Clarification Note: If you are living in willful sin, even against your husband, God is able and willing to forgive. I'm not negating that fact. In that case, confession is certainly in order, but repentance (turning around and not acting in that way in the future) is also essential. God's grace is bigger than that of our husbands, but Paul wrote in one of his epistles that we are not to take advantage of that grace and continue to sin.

1 comment:

  1. Good thoughts! I wonder if the widespread acceptance (and almost expected) idea of unfaithfulness to God in the church world isn't in a lot of ways responsible for the widespread acceptance of unfaithfulness in the marriage relationship? Sure seems both are readily accepted in our world nowadays...