Much has been made about the symbols or types that God uses to represent Himself to us. But I’ll be honest, there are times that it gets a bit confusing. God is our Father, and Christ is His Son. We are God’s children and Christ is our Brother, but he’s also our Husband, and well, don’t things start sounding a little bit weird and complicated?
Here’s what helped me sort it out:
When I married my wife (Susan), she became a part of me and part of my family. In many ways, her ties to her family were severed. You can see this in Scripture in the way things are handled when a husband dies without children (Matt 22:24-27) and in the way that God honor’s the Rechabites for obeying their father from son to son (Jer 35:6-10), and even in the way that wives take the name of their husband. You can also see it in salvation: when you are made a part of the family of God, your ties to your old father – Satan – were severed.
In other words, now that we are married, my parents now look at Susan as their daughter. So, think about this for a moment. Susan is my wife and I am her husband, but to my parents, she is a daughter and I am a son. In a very real way Susan and I are brother and sister, husband and wife, and my father is her father. Things begin to seem less weird and complicated. The relationships that we have with Christ and the Father are echoed/foreshadowed in the relationships that he established.
What I am saying is that marriage is in a very real way about adoption. It is the central method for relationship building in all of history, so much so, that this is what God chose to start the history of the world with. And it has incredible spiritual impact, to the point that Christ is referred to as the second Adam.
Think about this:
Adam married a woman who was made for him by God and who was begotten out of Adam while he was in a deep sleep. Jesus Christ is marrying a bride who is prepared for him by his Father and who is begotten out of Christ through His death and resurrection. And just as the first Adam could not keep his bride from sin, the second Adam will keep his bride spotless and perfect. The first Adam’s children married sisters after the flesh, and there was a time when this could be done righteously, but it seems the work of sin made marrying sister’s after the flesh unlawful. The second Adam’s children are commanded to marry sisters after the spirit (sisters in Christ).
The implication of this is that marriage is about adoption (or the bringing in of one outside into oneness or newness), and if it is about true adoption, then marriage is about salvation. (This also begins to help us understand why the world so hates and seeks to profance the institution of marriage – For if husband and wife are not one, if this relationship is not real, then there is no salvation, for it is only through this relationship that salvation and the gospel make sense and can exist)
As always comments are appreciated.