Saturday, May 10, 2014

Just a Relative?

I just read a line in a blog by a man named Samuel Clough that really struck me. It says, "We are called to be the bride and I am afraid that most of us are more content with being relatives of God rather than a bride."

I had to stop and think about that. And I realize I can approach it in two ways, both valid and both powerful, and each having their time and place.

Approach One: This approach uses the quote to evaluate my walk and relationship with Him from my position, and toward Him. It includes questions like:
Is that me? Do I prefer the relationship with Him where I can invite Him over (or go visit) when it is convenient, with the boundaries I want to set, etc.? Am I content to know I have a more special relationship with Him then non-relatives do, but to not really be joined to Him inseparably as one flesh? Am I OK with being aware of burdens of His heart and kind of picking which ones I should address, or am I bound to Him as one flesh with His burdens as my own? Do I feel like I have an option of stepping back when I need to take care of my "own stuff," or do I feel like I have nothing that is not His stuff as well?

In this context the quote is a powerful line that brings forth powerful questions and introspection!

Approach Two: This one uses the quote to evaluate my walk and relationship with Him from His position, toward me. It includes questions like:
Do I realize He doesn't just get "related" to me (which could mean many different levels of attachment, not all very deep)—He chooses me as a bride?! Am I living like He is "just" a relative, interested in much of my stuff but with His own stuff too—or do I realize He has joined Himself to me in a relationship without separate compartments . . . a relationship He describes in earthly terms as two becoming "one flesh"?! Am I living like He wants to see me now and then when it works out, or do I realize He wants to be (and is) with me always, no matter what, with no created thing able to separate me from His love?
Mary Ann and I recently celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary. I love her so much! She is my best friend! There is no one I'd rather be with, and even when we go to visit others our heart is to be joined in the same conversation rather then "guy talk" outside and "girl talk" inside (not to say there isn't a time and place for that, but too often it seems the norm or even preference). If I experience something wonderful and Mary Ann isn't there to share it with then something feels missing to me. She is my bride. My one flesh. My best friend. My pal.

Do I realize, and live like, God feels that way about me? The question goes two ways. 1) Have I believed a lie that He feels otherwise? 2) Am I content with something otherwise?

God uses two very powerful relationship in the Bible to describe our intended relationship with Him as born again believers—a Father/child, and this one, a Bridegroom/Bride. Both are relationships where, if lived correctly, there is a union far deeper than simply being "related." They are both unions that transcend that to a tie that is stunning in its depth. I can use the model of those two relationships to evaluate my relationship with Him to help me see areas I am not walking with Him as I should. And . . . I can use them to remind myself of just how much He loves me and I am joined with Him and how vested and interested He is in my life!

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