I attend a men’s Bible study at my church that focuses on defining a man of God and the necessary elements in his life to make him be complete. One of those elements is that every man has a woman to love.
Obviously being a single, celibate gay Christian, this statement bothers me. When I question how this statement applies to a single man (not even a gay man), I am told a woman to love for a single man is the church, as modeled by Jesus. I am still exploring this thought to see if there is any true biblical basis for such a statement. Every time I am told this however, I cannot help but become frustrated and bitter towards the church. Am I truly to consider my bride to be the church? How can this be when my so-called bride doesn’t even acknowledge my existence? Can a spouse truly feel apart of a relationship when their significant other does not even acknowledge they are in a relationship?
As the church makes this statement, I equate it to the level of frustration that exists for women when told wives should be submissive to their husbands. While I believe this to be biblical, as an isolated statement, it misses out on the entire meaning of the passage and ends up being used in an abusive and controlling manner. The responsibilities of the husband are just as important and any man who tells his wife she must be submissive is clearly ignoring the sacrifice that he is suppose to make as a loving husband. A partial biblical truth can be damaging if the full scope of the biblical passage is not given or if only part of a command is utilized. Is it justifiable for the church to tell a single man that his bride should be the church, despite having never spoken to the church regarding their responsibilities towards singles? It seems like an easy way out and an incomplete view, ultimately allowing the church to escape responsibility.
If the bride of a single person is the church, what is the responsibility of said bride? All pressure cannot be placed on the single person whom is already isolated, without family, and generally viewed as incomplete by the church.
I would love to hear some thoughts on this topic. Has anyone else looked into this idea that a single man’s bride is to be the church? How does that sit with your understanding of the scriptures?