I’m Not Married to Jesus

28 Apr

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.

4 Responses to “I’m Not Married to Jesus”

  1. Marlana Kaye April 28, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

    Singlewhitechristian: Thanks for reading our blog! I appreciate your response to our post ‘My Maker My Husband’. I must admit that I believe you are reading too much into the words of this post. Ms. Howard never did say that she was “married to Jesus” or that she wanted to have our worldly definition of marriage with Jesus. We need to be reminded that as children of God we are the Bridegroom of Christ. AND marriage designed by God, between a man and a woman, should point to Christ and His church. I agree when she states that in our singleness we need to look to Christ to meet our deepest desires. You are right on when you write, “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.” Thanks for your thoughts! I look forward to hearing what you think about our future posts! God Bless!

    • SWC April 29, 2012 at 12:11 am #

      Hi! Thanks for stopping by! I have to admit, I deliberately took her blog post more literally than I thought it was intended. 🙂 And I do hope I made it clear that I actually liked a lot of what Holly Howard said. The main reason I didn’t comment on the original post is that I realize I’m going off on a tangent here. But she got me thinking about how many single friends I have who have jokingly (or maybe not so jokingly) said they’re married to God, or how married people have said, “Just view God as your spouse”.

      No offense intended at all by my irreverent little response here! I really do enjoy reading the blog. I enjoy hearing the perspective of other Christian singles out in the world. 🙂

  2. Jennifer Decker May 3, 2012 at 5:04 pm #

    As you know, I’m not a Christian, but I do try to respect other people’s belief (except in the case where those people are trying to make law based on their personal faith that will affect me personally.) That said, I have always found it so creepy when people use this God as my husband line. I keep my mouth shut, but cringe inside, for exactly the reasons you state above. Good to hear its not just us heathens who find it disturbing. I’ve never heard a Christian say that out loud (er, in text?) before.

    • SWC May 8, 2012 at 2:55 am #

      I think there are some valid sentiments behind the idea of God as a spouse, such as the idea of God as my provider (rather than a husband as a provider), God as my comforter (rather than needing a human to comfort me), and so on. But the actual words “God is my husband” or “I’m married to God” has always bugged me.

      Out of curiosity, knowing you’re not a Christian, I wonder how often you hear this sort of thing? Is it something said commonly, outside of what you might call Christian social circles?

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