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Monday, July 26, 2010
Yes, you read that title right, men. This week's Man-Up Monday post is about being a bride.

I believe strongly that in order for us husbands to adequately grasp our biblical role in our marriages, we MUST learn first-hand what it means to be a bride. Now let me clarify; I’m not talking about experimentation with cross-dressing! No, I'm not asking you to don a wedding dress. What I am talking about is learning what it means to be the bride of Christ.

Let me remind you what Ephesians says about biblical roles in marriage:
Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.     Ephesians 5:24-25
Honest question: which verse did you focus on? Wisdom says you only get to focus on the instructions to you, not the ones to your wife. Got that guys?  You wife's submission to you is not your job to work out, it's between your wife and God.  Your job is to love your wife as Jesus loves the church.  Not so sure about that?  Well, let me jump a little further down in that chapter:
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery--but I am talking about Christ and the church.     Ephesians 5:31-32
The first verse is a quote from Genesis. I talked about it in my post on intimacy. But what I want to emphasize is the second verse. Paul is saying, in no uncertain terms, that there is a divine mystery in the husband-wife relationship, and that is that it echoes the relationship between Christ (our Bridegroom) and us as the church (his bride).

I don’t know about you, but that wrecks me every time I think about it. Jesus wants to be one with you and me, the same way a husband and wife are one in marriage. Now don’t go goofy on me, of course it isn’t a sexual relationship we have with Jesus, but the level of intimacy and oneness echoes the sexual relationship in marriage, with the same power and passion.

As a husband, in order to be like Christ to your bride, you simply must endeavor to comprehend what it means to be the bride of Jesus.  Knowing this love is the only way you can give this love. This is no easy task. It’s a lifelong pursuit that has no endpoint this side of heaven. In fact, Paul tells us a few chapters earlier in Ephesians 3, in his prayer for the church, that we cannot fully know this unknowable love of Christ; our limited human minds simply cannot comprehend the depth of his passion and the height of his desire for us, the length of his zeal and width of his jealousy for us as his bride. Yet, we must pursue the knowledge of our bridegroom’s love if we are to lavish that same kind of love on our own earthly brides. Ultimately, knowing this love is how we are to be “filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Ephesians 3:19)

I’m going to make a bold statement:

  • If you think that the passionate pursuit of the knowledge of the love of Jesus is just a wishy-washy, touchy-feely thing for the women folk; if you refuse to make your role as the intimate and desirable bride of Christ a centerpiece to your life in God, then you will never completely fulfill the role as husband that God intends you to fulfill.
What do you think? Am I overstating the importance of men needing to understand their bridal identity?


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