A recent post in a blog I follow (OurSinglePurpose.com) got me thinking. It’s a very well-written and carefully considered post called My Maker My Husband — and I completely disagree with it.
I know, I’m starting out with fighting words. But I want to explain that, while a lot of Christian singles may find comfort in the idea of being “married to Jesus” or viewing God as “our husband”, I’m not one of those singles. And, in fact, if I were a straight guy, that idea would creep me out even more than it does as a straight girl.
I don’t want to be married to God. The concept of marriage is a lovely one, and thankfully my parents have portrayed a good example of a lasting, loving marriage for me. But that isn’t how I see God. That isn’t how I experience God.
Especially when you start thinking about one of the greatest privileges of marriage. You know the one I’m talking about. And when people say “he’s a god in bed”, that’s one thing. But I really don’t want to think about having sex with God.
It isn’t that single people are naturally asexual. We have urges. We’re physically attracted to people. Heck, a lot of us have kissed other people. Some of us have done more than kiss. But if the church tells me that sex is a sacrament of marriage and that I should view myself as married to Jesus, isn’t that the logical conclusion? How many of the people who tell me to view God as my husband really think that analogy through?
Okay, I know in the Bible, Paul seems to compare the husband being the head of the wife to Christ being the head of the church. So apparently we’re supposed to draw from that the concept that the church is the bride of Christ. I guess maybe I can get that, but in that case we’re talking in complete metaphor, right? Because how else could a whole gigantic group of people stretching around the world and through time from 2000 years ago until today marry the same guy and have that work out?
And while we’re at it, I’m going to agree with commenter Jubilee at this post on Jon Acuff’s “Stuff Christians Like” blog. Jubilee points out (if you scroll way WAAAAY down in the comments) that Isaiah 54:5 is addressed to Israel. Corporate Israel, Jubilee points out–not a lonely single lady. If each individual Christian was supposed to view God as his/her husband, Jubilee says, every married Christian would be committing adultery against Jesus! (I’d like to add, as well, that would make God a huge polygamist.)
All joking aside, I know there are a lot of Christian people out there who do take comfort in the idea of God as a spouse. There are probably married people who view Him that way as well. (The sheer number of “Jesus is my girlfriend” songs would lead me to believe a lot of worship song writers view God as a lover.) Holly Howard, who wrote the blog post that got me thinking about this, certainly does. And she makes some fantastic points. I really like her table, in particular, showing the parallels of what a single asks for in a spouse, and what God offers us. While I don’t enjoy thinking of them in terms of Jesus as my spouse, I do take a lot of value out of being reminded that the Bible is God’s love letter to me, and that I can have an intimate relationship with God. Don’t think I’m writing this merely as a criticism of Ms. Howard’s post, because it’s not. It’s just another viewpoint.
And from my point of view, I’m not married to Jesus.