Thursday: Marriage as a Metaphor for the Church

It is well-known among students of the Bible that both in the Old Testament and

Image © Krieg Barrie from

Image © Krieg Barrie from

in the New Testament marriage is used as a symbol of the relationship between God and His covenant people. That’s why, for example, on numerous occasions the Bible uses the image of an unfaithful woman to symbolize the apostasy and backsliding that was prevalent in ancient Israel. For instance, back in Exodus, the Lord said to His people that they should not enter into any kind of close relationship with the pagans around them because the pagans were a very perverse people who could lead Israel astray.

Read Exodus 34:1516. What image does the Lord use in this specific warning? How can this be understood in the context of God’s people as being “married” to Him? See Jer. 3:14.

At the same time, the image of the church as the bride of Christ points toward unity among believers and with Christ, especially when understood in the context of the biblical ideal for marriage: one man and one woman in a loving, self-sacrificing relationship.

Read Ephesians 5:28-32 and Revelation 19:5-9. What are these texts teaching?

In these texts, the relationship within the ideal marriage is compared with the relationship of God and His people. God invites His people to join with Him in an intimate relationship. This is an amazing picture of God’s interest in His people and His desire to bring us into His fellowship.

What choices can you make that will draw you closer to the Lord and closer to the ideal represented in the biblical concept of marriage? Why is it a matter of the choices that you, and you alone, can make?

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Thursday: Marriage as a Metaphor for the Church — 8 Comments

  1. God has in His wisdom, grace and love given each of us a free will. He knows that is the only way to recieve from us true love in return. Only I can make the choice to choose Him and to accept His gifts of Love and to come close to Him. He is there waiting, and I must turn and open my heart, hands and life to Him!

  2. Being married is not easy because there are many other temptations out there and if you are not focus on your marriage you can go astray and lose everything. The same thing with God, for our relationship God to stick and be intimate we must keep our eyes on him and him alone and not let anything else come in between us. Temptations will always be around us and we have to know what's important to us our wife that's at home and/or God that's there for us.

    • I like very much the comment of Bro.Johny Mettelus.You are right that temptation is everywhere and if we focus our eyes on our marriage then we can resist temptation.And it's true also with our relationship with God.We are surrounded with so many temptations and distractions that can pull us away from Him.So we should remain faithful to Him no matter what.And I believed praying daily and reading the bible will help a lot!

      • Maria, it is not just focusing on our marriage so much as it is focusing on Jesus. When two are drawing near to Christ they are also coming nearer to each other. Would you not agree?

  3. Marriage is true metaphor for the church as you are bonded to your wife through the vows of marriage so as you are bonded to christ through his grace and commands if you so choose to be in the church.

  4. Indeed marriage is a symbol for the relationship with our creator just as the first love in Eden was.

  5. The Church needs to have an honest discussion about marrage. In light of the different concepts of marrage, the types of relationships that has rased its head and the laws that are being enacted. It is my opinion that the Church should convean a conference or committee to come up with a policy on marrage. The General Conference spent thousands of dollare ofer a period of two tears debating creation why not look at marrage in this Last Lay setting. In Africa and many other culture they allow more than one wife. The Bible list many of God's faithful servents with more than one wife. Its time for the General Conference to have an honest discussion on this matter.

  6. One issue that is around at least in our culture is the issue of common law marriages where couple live together without a formal contract or church wedding. While some see this as an indicator of loose living, a lot of common law (or defacto) relationships are quite stable and monogamous. One reason cited for this trend is that wedding costs are very high. Recently I read that the average wedding in Australia costs $46,000. (Thank you Toni - my daughter - you only cost us $6000 and it was a really great day!) Should the church bless defacto relationships even though the participants do not have a civil contract. How important in the piece of paper given that defacto relationships are to a large extent considered equal to contractural relationships in the sight of the law.


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