In our last Relationship Tuesdays, we looked at the aspect of love of God as Father through obedience, and how obedience to His commands is a recognition of His not only knowing but desiring what is best for us.
Today we are going to look at demonstrating our love for God as our bridegroom or husband, which is another metaphor that God uses to describe His relationship with us throughout the Old and New Testament:
“For your Maker is your husband--the LORD Almighty is his name--the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” Isaiah 54:5
“As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” Isaiah 62:5
“Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"
Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” Matthew 9:14
And these are just a few examples. The entire theme of the book of Hosea is God as bridegroom, and how upset/jealous He gets when His people go after idols. And idols are not just dead images and statues that get set up and worshipped; idols are anything that takes any of your love away from God. He wants you to love Him with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. (Read more about this idea in Flee From Idolatry)
God basically equates anything less than loving Him with everything as adultery.
So if we are supposed to see ourselves as the wife of God, we need to look at how a wife ought to behave toward her husband:
Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22
Our role as the church/wife of Christ is one of submission.
Submission shows love because it’s not a forced obedience; submission is willful/selfless obedience. Loving wives choose not to strive against their husbands and submit to their authority. Loving people choose not to strive against God and submit to His authority, just as Jesus submitted to the Father when He said, “not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42) Wives choose to love their husbands not just more than they love other men but instead of loving other men. Likewise God wants us to love Him not just more than all other options, but instead of all other options. So we choose to trust and obey God, just as a wife chooses to trust and obey her husband.
Next time we’ll be looking at Obeying our King.