I've begun to wonder over the course of the past month if we as a church haven't gotten our analogies backwards.
I'm always hearing about how the relationship between Christ and his bride the church is "like" the relationship between a husband and wife.
But to say this is similar to saying that Christ was made to be "like" Adam.
Don't get me wrong, He was. But recently (thanks to Pr. Stuckwisch) I've come to think of that concept a little bit differently.
It has been explained to me that Adam was made in the image of Christ, not the other way around. Adam was made to mirror the "perfect Man" even Jesus.
If Adam was made in the image of Christ then should it not then follow at least a tiny bit that his wife, Eve was made in the image of the Church? Should we not rather say that the relationship between husband and wife was created to paint a picture of Christ and his Bride?
Have we not a tendency to view things from an earthly form of egocentrism. We in our arrogance say that heavenly things are "like" earthly things. Would it not be better to praise our Father that in his mercy He has made earthly things in the image of heavenly things? That he has preserved for us husbands and wives, fathers and mothers who not only provide for our physical needs but by analogy point us to the Great Husband and Father who ultimately provides for all our needs and his Bride who nurtures us as she submits to her Husband and gives us birth into his family.
Therefore, should it not better be said, as does the blessed St. Paul that, "husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave himself up for her, so that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless"? And when he continues, "Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord," is there any question that this is what the Church does?
So we ought to recognize that we are creatures made after the pattern God determines. God didn't decide to form the relationship between Christ and the Church so similarly to marriage so that we poor mortals could better understand it. Instead he gave us marriage so that we could better understand how much He loves us.
I hope that makes sense. And now I really need to go to sleep!