I’m kind of a fat nerd but my wife still really loves me. She’s beautiful, kind, responsible and far better than I deserve.
I love her quite a bit.
That’s why if someone came to me and said, “I like you but I can’t stand your wife,” I’d probably find new ways to insult and verbally maim him or her. Any husband should nearly turn into the Hulk if someone said to him, “I like you but I can’t stand your wife.”
Yet we often say that to Jesus.
The church is the bride of Christ yet we often communicate with words and actions that we like Jesus but can’t stand his bride.
I know that I have often thought and said how embarrassed I am by the church. Whenever Christians do something stupid or offensive in Jesus’ name, I’m the first person to denigrate the church and try to distance myself from it. Every time I do that, though, it’s like someone telling me, “You’re cool but your wife is a total drag.”
We can’t do that.
Whether we like it or not, the church is the bride of Christ. No matter how upset we get by bad intentions, uninspired worship or adulterous pastors, if we accept Christ then we have to accept his bride.
When I got married all of my friends had to accept Alycia; if they hadn’t we would no longer be friends.
No matter how pockmarked or ugly the bride of Christ might be, we have to embrace her and love her and do everything we can to make her worthy of her groom. It’s much easier to complain about how ugly the church is than to actually take steps to make it better. But just like brides are at their best on their wedding day, we can strive to make the church the best she can be while awaiting the return of the groom.
So if we see bad intentions, we need to respond with pure intentions.
If we see uninspired worship, we need to respond with fervent worship.
If we see adulterous pastors, we need to respond with uncompromising integrity.
The bride of Christ may have some blemishes and may not be perfect, but she is beautiful and redeemed because of what Jesus has done. We can’t say that we like Jesus but can’t stand his bride because she’s the only one we’ve got. There’s not another bride coming down the aisle so we have to make the best of what we’ve got.
How have you seen the beauty of the bride of Christ?