We’re All The Bride – or why both men and women are subject to a feminine biblical metaphor

 

Bride of Bethlehem by William Holman Hunt. A pretty good look at what ancient Jewish brides looked like.

Bride of Bethlehem by William Holman Hunt.
A pretty good look at what ancient Jewish brides looked like.

And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast…”  Matthew 9:15

Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.  Ephesians 5:25-27

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.  And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem,coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  Revelation 21:1-2

 

Even a quick look through the New Testament will show us that bride imagery for God’s people is a pretty big thing.  Yesterday, I wrote on how “son” – a thoroughly masculine image – applies to both men and women.  Not to be unfair or off-balance, the New Testament also has an image for relationship to God which is thoroughly feminine.  That’s right, guys!  You too are the Bride!

I once had a friend say that he didn’t like being “The Bride”.  He was a dude after all!  Whether it is right to decide which Biblical truths we like or don’t like aside, God’s people as “the Bride” isn’t going to go away.  Men and women both are subject to a feminine image.  Jesus (and God) are always the masculine, and the People are always the feminine without fail.

We are all feminine in the sense that we as God’s People – the  Church – are the objects of His desire.  We are the end of His great pursuit – Jesus came down from heaven for those whom he desired to be near to Him.  We also await something, a consummation at the end of all things where we will be with the Lord and He will be with us.  The intimacy of that can not be understated.  “Be with” like as in, you know, being with…  *wink*

That reality of love, desire, and future intimacy is something that all those who trust in God’s promises are a part of.  Whether male or female, we are “the Bride”.  If you’re a man, is that a little weird to think of a feminine image describing relating to God.  Well, weird or not, that is how He sees it.

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