Monday, April 11, 2016

Sorry, Frau Blucher, Jesus is not our boyfriend

I am not a romantic. I am a realist. I love function, utility, and stalwart perseverance. If someone sends me flowers it's tremendous and I love their beauty. Yet I also worry about their quick fade and soon death of the blooms, and that makes me sad. I'd rather have a gift certificate to Amazon, thanks.

Even as a child, I preferred watching Fractured Fairy Tales, a short segment on The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, featuring classic fairy tales retold with a wry, O Henry twist.  I liked those.  While other girls were playing with Barbie and dreaming of a white wedding, I was reading Nancy Drew under the tree and figuring out the logic behind the mystery.

As a young woman, if I envisioned day-to-day marriage life it was more like where my husband would quietly change the oil in my car. Where he would fill the gas tank for me. Where sometimes he would make supper so I wouldn't have to. I envisioned a partnership where I'd serve him too, with little fanfare and utilitarian, functional gifts. Matching his socks so he wouldn't have to spend time on a busy commute-work morning finding the matching ones. Where I'd fix dinner and have it ready for him when he came home, because he arrived home late and evening hours before bed were precious. Where I'd make sure to have his favorite pants always clean.

As a teenager and young adult woman, I knew that romance didn't last, and from my observations, most marriages didn't last either. It seemed to me that spouses serving each other in helpful ways that demonstrated a listening heart and a servant attitude was more likely to add to any success of a marriage. I'm saying this to show that not all girls universally desire a romantic groom to come sweeping in on a white horse to rescue them. Not every woman is a romantic.

Ladies, don't buy into the current attitude that because all women want a romantic groom, that we envision Jesus as that romantic groom. The romantic Jesus-boyfriend complex is an unfortunate trend that in fact diminishes the august majesty of our King. He is also Savior, Redeemer, Priest, Father, Friend, Healer, Provider, and a host of other facets to His personality that are the complete God-man whom we worship. He is not our boyfriend.

Jesus is not a Prince Charming jousting for a lady fair's attention. Jesus is not Prince Charming trying to win a fair maiden's attention. He is GOD! He doesn't woo. He doesn't plead. He doesn't leave small favors on our doorstep so we would finally fall, smitten, at His feet. He is GOD! He decides whose name will go in His lamb's Book of Life. He decided that before we were even formed. Then he makes it happen.

Now the main point in what has been said is this: we have such a high priest, who has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, (Hebrews 8:1)

And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they. (Hebrews 1:3-4)

"Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Yours is the dominion, O LORD, and You exalt Yourself as head over all. (1 Chronicles 29:11)

Does that sound like a man who is supposed to woo his woman and fall head over heels, weaving a daisy chain together to bestow with a kiss? No.

Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, (Psalm 104:1)

And yet we women are subjected to titles like this, depicting our majestic God as as a foppish suitor. This terrible book was actually written, actually published and is actually on sale:

The Wild Romancer: Uncovering the Romance Jesus Longs to Lavish on You, by Brenda Cobb Murphy.

Jesus longs for something? This would indicate an impotence that does not exist. It evokes a weak man who wishes, hopes, tries, but does not accomplish. But Jesus accomplished it all. He defeated death by the power of His sinless will! Yet these kind of titles are all too common. This theme is all too frequent in "women's studies". One 'teacher' urges women to "make Jesus the supreme romance of your life", if we would "only let Him." Ann Voskamp says that we "make love to God." Sarah Young carries this erotic-romantic theme forward in her book, Jesus Calling. That's idolatry, projecting our own emotions onto Jesus and worshiping the image we have created.

He did not come to woo us gently to His heart. He came to shed His blood so as to exhaust God's wrath for His elect's sin. Even the concept of wooing toward salvation is foreign to the Bible. No one seeks for God, no not one. (Romans 3:10-11). We women are not wandering romantics looking for our Prince Charming, who whispers sweet nothings into our ear and satisfies the need for glamour and mystique in our love lives as we finally, sweetly succumb. He is the avenging Savior ransoming us from sin's bondage in His inestimable timing. Sometimes salvation is hard, messy, and initially unwanted.

It is the romanticizing of Jesus that is one of the ways we remake God into our own image. This is idolatry. We have a human desire or need, and we make God into an image that fills that need.

Isaiah 44:15 & 17 say of idolatry,

Then it becomes fuel for a man. He takes a part of it and warms himself; he kindles a fire and bakes bread. Also he makes a god and worships it; he makes it an idol and falls down before it.

From the rest he makes a god, his idol; he bows down to it and worships. He prays to it and says, "Save me! You are my god!"

The romantic whispery Jesus is the false God some women have made, and this is concerning because these women have a platform for publishing books or speaking to thousands of women. This is the false Jesus they urge women to fall down before.

Jesus is not our prom date. He is the creator, sustainer and destroyer of worlds. (Genesis 1:26, Colossians 1:17, 2 Peter 3;10). He decided to create man for a relationship with Him, so that man may know Him and glorify Him. (Psalm 86).

Jesus is not our boyfriend.



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Further Resources

Critique: Why Jesus isn't your boyfriend
Jesus did not accomplish redemption to marry us individually. He died for the church corporate, of which we are a part. His death accomplished something much greater than simply meeting our deep-seated desires for a significant other.
God is my husband: A Jesus Romance
There seems to be a theologically faulty trend in the church today amongst single (and many married) women that the greatest love of all is being married to Jesus (God). They have taken the whole Jesus as bridegroom and God as husband metaphor to the extreme—to imply things that one doesn’t find in the Bible.

6 comments :

  1. I knew this had finally gone off the rails several years ago when someone from a church small group said they were studying this awesome study about Christ's love for us. It culminated in a suggestion that participants fix a dinner for two and invite Jesus to sit down, or plan a long romantic soak in the bath and think of Jesus. I turned to the person next to me and said, "I am not getting in the tub with Jesus." I think he broke a rib laughing, and we both got dirty looks from the other side of the table.

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    1. Bahahahaha! Thanks, John, I needed that laugh! (I share the "ewww!" thought with you, Elizabeth! LOL!)

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  2. Hi there.

    I feel mixed emotions about this. There is a very romantic aspect to the dynamic my Creator shares with me, no human can ever deny or get in between that intimacy. I must admit that the soul fulfillment I experience from knowing that God individually desires me a trillion times more than any man ever can has kept me rooted in his love and stopped me from idolizing men as the harbinger of my happiness and self worth. A hundred bouquet of flowers falls flat when not one of those deliverers would die on a cross for me - over two thousand years before I existed.

    There are standards to this romance of course. For one while I need God he will certainly never need me. Every romantic gesture on his part comes purely from his pleasure and good will. If I had rejected Jesus' sacrifice he would be no more emotionally damaged by me going to hell than by me spending eternity with him. There is no pleading on his part or any 'you complete me' nonsense from him.

    The scene I received when praying about this topic years ago was a shallow puddle. Our need for romance and deep soul intimacy is like a shallow pothole and Jesus is water. He is an eternal ocean, so more than capable of making up that puddle - but he will never limit or reduce himself to just that puddle. That's what people try to do when they reduce Jesus to their boytoy and deny his position as their master, lord, redeemer, judge, king, destroyer, creator and eveything else in that ocean.

    Your description of creating an idol out of romantic Jesus is like cutting off a little finger and worshipping it as the whole person - excuse me if that's gross. That's when it gets out of hand. Then you see people losing reverence for God and reversing the dynamic - it becomes about him pleasing THEM instead of the other way round, because our concept of romance as humans is inherently self centred.

    Mulling over this has been good for me, thanks for the upload.

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  3. Thank you Elizabeth for this post. The height of disrespect for our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord, our master who bought us, redeemed His own with His precious blood. Our Father, our sovereign King the Creator. This is what happens when we are not approaching the Word of God with reverent fear and praying for wisdom as we study the Word of God.

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  4. I'm not sure how some people are defining the term romantic to justify their relationship with Jesus Christ. If they're reducing it to a human level of romance then we have a serious problem because it is not biblical.

    I'm sure the woman at the well didn't have a romantic love for Jesus and nor did Mary Magdalene who poured the perfume on Jesus' head and and wiped the tears off his feet with her hair.

    One thing I discovered a couple of years ago when replying to someone in a combox was that most people will unwittingly compartmentalize Jesus separate from God the Father. Scripture is clear that we do not worship Jesus separately from the Father. One can praise and worship Jesus all they want in their own novel way, but it's not accepted unless one (obtains) (the praise) that comes from the only God!-John 5:44. True worship and praising GOD comes from GOD the Father to His SON which is the ONLY acceptable praise and worship HE accepts. Remember that Jesus said in John 4:23--,,"True worshipers worship the Father in Spirit and in truth"

    God is High and exalted, superlative in every way.

    “The Lord of hosts, him you shall honor as holy." "Let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.”-Isaiah 8:13.

    "For this is what the high and lofty One says--he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite."-Isaiah 57:15.

    "Be ye Holy; For I am holy"-1 Peter 1:16..

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