There are a lot of metaphors that describe different aspects of our relationship with Christ. We are going through a sermon series on “union with Christ,” and we will look at some of those metaphors in depth next week. Hopefully, looking at these metaphors will clarify what is so mysterious. They should. I get the point through the illustration of a vine with branches. I see it better with my mind’s eye when I read that we are bricks in a building. I have a body with various parts, so I can relate to Paul’s elaboration of the church as the body of Christ made up on individual members. These things I get.
I hope this doesn’t sound disrespectful, but the church being the bride of Christ? This metaphor eludes me. I’ve never been a bride. Never felt like a bride. Never wanted to be a bride. So when I read that the church is the bride of Christ, well, I’m not all that thrilled. I understand that he loves us, protects us, leads us, gives himself for us. I can use my words to articulate what those things are because I am a husband. I work at doing those things. But what it’s like to be on the receiving end leaves me at a loss.
I’m not sure this is a bad thing. I wonder how much I actually should identify with wearing a beautiful wedding dress. I honestly do marvel at God’s love for me, but it honestly doesn’t make me feel pretty.
My hunch is that the ladies among us get this a whole lot better than most of us gents. I think this is intentional on God’s part. It is important for the women of NRBC to know that your female perspective makes up where we would be seriously lacking if our church family were men-only. We need you, ladies, because you bring to the table some God-given tendencies and inclinations that aren’t part of our warp and woof.
But, just to clarify, I’m not suggesting that I think we need “a woman’s perspective.” Not anymore than we need a “man’s perspective.” I don’t think we need either as if they were monolithic entities. Rather, I think we need each lady’s perspective. We need each individual lady to influence the atmosphere of our church family because each individual lady has similar but different experiences or hopes as a bride. Although men generally tend to see things in a certain way and ladies generally see things similarly, I don’t think there’s one unified “man’s perspective” or “lady’s perspective.” Instead, I think, for example that there is my perspective, unique among men, and my wife’s perspective, similar to other women but unique to her.
So, my point is that we need each individual member of the body to be what he or she is and to influence our church family with his or her unique perspective. And I am fairly convinced that if we are going to do a good job of being the bride of Christ, then it will because the ladies of NRBC swayed us in that way.