My wife is beautiful. I’m not. One Biblical analogy that I don’t think I’ve ever fully appreciated is the comparison of the Church to a bride. I do appreciate the analogy for the way I am to relate to my bride as Christ relates to the church. In that regard I think the “Jesus to Church as Groom to Bride” comparison is great. I suspect I’m not alone among men feeling a bit lost though when it comes to being a part of the Bride.
Maybe this will help. There is an interesting passage in 1 Corinthians that has caused much disagreement within the Body of Christ pertaining to the roles of men and women. 1 Corinthians 11:7-8.
For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man [NASB]
My intent here is not to wade into the contention about men and women. I want to look at this verse from another angle all together. (I’ll also bypass the temptation to comment on this verse from the perspective of a man with less covering on his head than he would like.)
If scripture uses the groom or man, to represent Christ and the bride or woman to represent His church, is it reasonable to see if this principle applies to 1 Corinthians 11? I think it is. Let’s look at this verse in the context of Christ and His church. Christ ought not have His head covered because He is God and has all authority. The church is the glory of Christ. For Jesus does not originate from His church, but the church originates from Jesus.
Interesting. What does it mean then to say, “the church is the glory of Christ?” The glory of Jesus is His character, who He is. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one, three manifestations of a single character and existence. We learn from the Bible that you know a tree by its fruit. The fruit of the Spirit, and therefore of Christ, is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. That is His character. If the glory of Christ is the revealing of His character, His true self, and His character is in us, it stands to reason that to say the church is the glory of Christ is to say the church displays the fruit of the Spirit.
Today, display the love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that have been deposited in you. In doing so, you apply the principle of 1 Corinthians 11. You, as part of the bride of Christ, bring Him glory by living in a way that displays His character to the world. Christ in you, the hope of glory.
That is the recipe for a beautiful spotless bride.