“Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” (Ephesians 5:25-27)
Russell Moore says, “The Church is the Bride of Christ. And maybe, in this moment, the Bride of Christ needs marriage counseling.”
Usually, as marital issues are seldom one-sided, couples go in for counseling together. But in this case, if there’s a rift in the relationship, it’s the Bride who needs to do all the changing. Her Groom came from Heaven and has no need for the least bit of adjustment. But where does she go to get the help she needs?
My advice for her is to go to her Beloved, sit at his feet and “listen to what he says” (Luke 10:39). He knows just what she needs to become “a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” Problem is, she doesn’t know what He knows, so He has to tell her (remember, like Paul, I’m “talking about Christ and the Church.”
I’m afraid much of the Church in America has left her first love (Revelation 2:4) and has replaced it with love of country, self, party, security, prosperity, and any number of other lovers, none of which lead to anything resembling the bliss they promise. We’ve been duped into the very syncretistic religion that we’ve traditionally argued against. We’ve so folded our Christianity into national pride, loyalty to party, and our own self-interest that it now bears little, if any, similarity to the Christianity of the Bible.
Speaking of the Bible, Jesus makes His Bride “holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word.” Problem is when we love something or someone more than we love Him we develop our own tidy list of Bible verses that support our idolatry, along with our own favored interpretation of them. We can quote those passages all day long––as did the Pharisees, southern slave owners, and German Nazi sympathizers––in order to justify our ideas and behaviors. Many of us live in such narrow ideological silos with others who believe and behave in our same preferred way, with the sermons and tirades from our favorite media personalities ricocheting back and forth off the walls, that our Groom’s actual words are drowned out.
So… in order to save our marriage to our Heavenly Partner we need counseling. It might involve a third party, like a friend, a pastor, or a trusted mentor, but the most “Wonderful Counselor” (Isaiah 9:6) is also our Groom.
Make the call today.