Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
Jesus Is Not a Polygamist
The notion that an individual spinster, widow or divorcee can look to Jesus to be her Husband is unbiblical. Jesus is the Husband of the church, and He is not a polygamist. Nor should a married woman look to Jesus as her own personal Husband. He doesn't call her to a multiplicity of marriages, either. And no individual man should think of Jesus as his Husband, either. Jesus is not a homosexual.
Jesus is the Bridegroom of the church, and He is a one-woman Man. The Bible simply doesn't teach us to think of Him as being individually married to each believer. Someone in my Bible study last week was sure there was a Bible verse that says that the Lord will be a Husband to the widow, but such a verse does not exist. The closest thing is Psalm 68:5, which says that he will be a defender, or protector, or judge (which, in the Hebrew mindset, would be understood as defender or protector) of widows. Surely the Holy Spirit could have prompted David to write "husband" there, if that's what He'd intended. Nor is Isaiah 54:4-5 addressing an individual widow, but Israel as a whole.
I think we could get a whole lot of sloppy, self-centered, sentimental, individualistic thinking (not to mention a whole lot of schlocky Jesus-is-my-boyfriend music) out of the church if we would insist on using biblical language about these matters. We would also transform our thinking about the body, grow in our ability to think corporately and in our capacity to love the brethren, and, best of all, drive me a little less crazy. ;-)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 8:46 AM
On October 13, 2007 9:42 AMAngiewrote... Good thoughts, Valerie. I like the way one theologian put it (I read it years ago and can't remember where): Jesus has a bride, not a brothel.
On October 13, 2007 9:06 PMAnonymouswrote... Dear Valerie, though all that you say is true, and there's always a danger of taking verses out of context and applying them to ourselves personally, thereby missing the original meaning of the text, never-the-less we must remember that God is perfectly free and many, many times willing to be personal with each one of us, comforting and consoling us and being for us, in a spiritual sense, that which He has denied us in this life. And so it is that the paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair can mount up on eagle's wings with God, the odd and socially crippled individual can leap and bound over the heights of life with hind's feet, the poor may be rich, the blind may see. It's true that if we dissect it, we're not really talking about a blind person seeing with his eyes, but seeing the surpassingly great truths of eternal life and salvation, which he now knows are much more to be sought than sight itself. I think a lonely woman who is thiking of Jesus as her husband, really needs just a slight adjustment in her thinking: Jesus is her Shepherd, and it's true that many of a husband's privileges /duties look the same as many of a shepherd's duties, so many of her needs will be met by the fact that Jesus is her Shepherd. Probably isn't really the greatest subject matter at Bible study, but we do still need to really believe the Lord's promises to us if we're going to live by the strength He gives. And each person needs to be brought, with love, to a better reasoning capacity than what he/she started out with. Hope I can manage to post this, now that I wrote it! Gilda
On October 13, 2007 9:30 PMValerie (Kyriosity)wrote... You are absolutely right, of course, that Jesus relates to us as individuals as well as in community...and thanks be to God for that! My point is only the Bible does not speak of that relationship in terms of marriage, and that it's important that we not do so, either. Unfortunately, there is a lot of teaching out there that does, and in our hyper-romanticized culture, the widespread sense of individual quasi-romantic attachment to Jesus has gotten the church's thinking out of whack on a lot of things.
I should have noted that the chapter of the book we're studying is explicitly teaching "I am married to Jesus"ism. I'm not at all upset with the dear woman who had been incorrectly taught, but I'm frustrated out of my little pink brain at CCEF, which generally has excellent materials, for teaching people to base their individual relationship with Christ on unbiblical thinking and language. The goal of such an organization ought to be to help Christians align their thinking as much as possible with the revealed truth of God, knowing that the root of human troubles is in our failure to do so. Unbiblical thinking is bound to harm rather than help.
On October 14, 2007 4:18 AMAnonymouswrote... Oh yes, I agree with you completely. What's the title of the book that's being studied?
And do you speak up in class and tell them that it just ain't so, when necessity dictates? Wish I could be there to help you do that, even though I'm no theologian! G
And yes, I proved myself last Tuesday to be the mouthy one in the class. I said to the instructor afterwards that I hoped I wasn't being a pain in the neck (she said I wasn't) and that the trouble with women's studies is that Christian women are all so nice and sweet...except for me. ;-)
On October 14, 2007 10:09 PMAnonymouswrote... Valerie, My husband wants to know what characteristic of a christian husband is Christ not to an individual and to the church as a whole, ie... provider, protector, teacher, lover of my soul? AR
On October 15, 2007 9:36 AMJakemaxmomwrote... I will say that we live in a self-centered nation. We need to remember that Christ is the head of the church. Many people come from churches that teach that Jesus is your friend. Jesus is not a friend, he is our Saviour. He died for us and that was very loving. I don't have any friends who would die for me and I wouldn't die for them. People think they are that good of a person but no one is that good. Don't get me wrong, I love a handful of people enough to walk through anything with them but death is different. With all that said you are right that Christ is the groom of the church. Maybe you can remind her that Christ meets all her needs as the head of the church. We need to remember that people are hurt and need to be handled with love but a firm hand. The lady sounds like she's hurt, so love her, even if it is difficult.
Have you ever heard RC tell about one of his early dates with Denise? He was kvetching about a concert they'd gone to, and saying, "Jesus isn't our friend, He's our Lord." Denise came back next time with John 15:15, "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you." Denise won the argument and RC was even more deeply smitten. ;-)
Of course that's not to say that Jesus is our peer-level pal, which is certainly an attitude error of our uber-casual Evangelical culture.
Again, my concerns aren't so much with this particular woman's thinking as with the fact that this curriculum is teaching individuals to relate to Jesus in a quasi-romantic way. I'm in no position to "handle" the lady in question, as I am less than her peer, being younger than her. And I never even met her before last Tuesday, when we chatted pleasantly before and after the study. And for the record, I thought she was absolutely delightful. (-:
On October 15, 2007 11:40 AMAngiewrote... I think the question we should start with is whether the Bible ever describes individual believers as brides of Christ. If not, then, as Valerie has pointed out, we may not be doing ourselves any theological favors to insist on thinking this way. We should make sure our theological meditations and reflections--metaphors included--conform to Scripture.
That doesn't mean that Jesus isn't our provider, protector, etc. Of course he is. And the Church, of which individual Christians are members, is the Bride--so we are certainly united to Christ as a wife is united to her husband. The question is whether each individual Christian relates to Jesus as a female spouse to her husband. I don't think the Bible teaches that.
On October 15, 2007 2:18 PMAnonymouswrote... My last comments didn't post, aaaarghh! Paul thinks you are splitting hairs because the individual is the church. First, to all you readers out there, I am a part of this Bible study too. I do not see in anyway how they are teaching individuals to relate to Jesus in a "quasi-romantic" way. Do you think maybe we (yes myself included) are afraid of knowing God intimately? Tell me exactly how are they teaching this "quasi-romantic" way. Are sure you have the same study that I do? :-)
On October 15, 2007 4:25 PMAnonymouswrote... Sorry I forgot my initials on the last blog. I don't want to give you an excuse to erase it. AR