Christians, Can We Stop Romanticizing Marriage & Scriptures Already?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe healthy marriages are the foundation to any flourishing society and I’m in no way minimizing or chastising marriage or the need for children and families. I’m simply advocating for realism in our Christian literature and daily devotionals targeted towards women – especially as it relates to the relationship between Christ as the bridegroom and the church as the bride. Far too many times I’ve seen the Gospel message seemingly ‘floralized’ in daily devotionals instead of appealing to a warrior’s heart reading their much-needed field guides in preparation for battle.

It’s like the Easter Bunny to Christ’s Resurrection or Santa Clause to the Birth of Christ – and it’s the exact reason I prefer Oswald Chambers over others like Max Lucado.

For instance, as a gift I received volume 1 of Max Lucado’s Grace For The Moment ® Inspirational Thoughts for Each Day of the Year. Today is June 13th of the devotional which reads as follows:

A Promise Delivered (based on Revelation 21:2) – I saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God. It was prepared like a bride dressed for her husband. 

The Holy City, John says, is like “a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.” What is more beautiful than a bride? …   Maybe it is the aura of whiteness that clings to her dew clings to a rose. Or perhaps it is the diamonds that glisten in her eyes. Or maybe it’s the blush of love that pinks her cheeks or the bouquet of promises she carries. A bride. A commitment robed in elegance. “I’ll be with you forever.” Tomorrow bringing hope today. Promised purity faithfully delivered. When you read that our heavenly home is similar to a bride, tell me, does it make you want to go home?

In scripture, Christ is the bridegroom and the church is the bride. This imagery (like Jesus’ other parables) is created to paint a picture of Heaven – not the physical attributes of an earthly bride. As a single woman (biological adult human female), who also happens to be a Christian, I find today’s devotional wanting. Instead of me finding tasty morsels of what heaven is like, I am once again confronted with feelings of inadequacies over my singleness when I know full well these are only words on a page; they are not the promises Christ makes to those who diligently seek Him.

Furthermore, as I’ve gotten older, I realize I would much rather spend time with friends and a possible partner who is willing to actually serve others and clean beside me at our local city mission. But perhaps cleaning floors, washing dishes and serving food to strangers isn’t glamorous enough to make it into daily devotionals – then again – perhaps it should be. As working beside my fellow New Hope family members in Christ was truly a joy this weekend and I look forward to the next. As far as marriage is concerned, it’s still a desire of my heart, but not one which will leave me heart sick if not fulfilled.