Greg Stier: Don't Slap Christ's Wife!

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Don’t slap, mock, or treat the Church – the bride of Christ – with disrespect.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. ‘For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. – Ephesians 5:25-32

The church is the wife of Christ.

He sacrificed his own life to redeem her. He is returning someday to claim her. According to Revelation 19:9, we all will celebrate the “Wedding supper of the Lamb” with Jesus someday, and what an awesome occasion that will be!

So in the meantime, don’t slap, mock, or treat the bride of Christ with disrespect.

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I remember when I first got married twenty-two years ago, my wife and I were with a group of her co-workers at a Christmas party. The place where we had the party was in the back room of a bar-meets-grill kind of joint. As we were leaving, my wife was walking about 10 feet in front of me, talking to one of her female co-workers.

She didn’t notice the two guys who were eyeing her up and down as she walked by…but I did.

Without thinking or blinking, I walked up to their tables as they were still leering and hit my left fist so hard on their table I made their drinks jump.

Startled, they looked up at me, and before they could figure out what was going on, I barked, “Do you see this ring?” showing them the wedding ring on my clenched fist. Before they could answer, I said, “You want to see it up close?” Still not getting it, I said, “That girl you were gawking at is my wife, and I don’t like the way you were looking at her.”

Either of these guys could have beaten the tar out of me, but my bold action embarrassed and shocked them. Luckily, I got out of the door before they realized they could have easily smashed me.

Why did I react like that? Because I love my wife and I will not tolerate her being treated with disrespect.

Neither will Christ.

Greg Stier Greg Stier is the President and Founder of Dare 2 Share Ministries, which is mobilizing teenagers across America to share their faith.

More from Greg Stier or visit Greg at http://www.dare2share.org

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  • Karl Ingersoll

    I surely love the Church. The suggestion that we cannot see local churches critically without Bride-bashing” is untenable to me. The book of Revelation itself suggests that God Himself would close a few churches now and then. We need to come up with something better than, “we are not perfect” and except the fact that every church that calls itself a church may not be a church any more than every person who calls themselves Christian, may not be a follower of Christ. The prophetic voice is desperately needed on the North American spiritual landscape.

  • Scott Dossett

    The “bride of Christ” is the totality of all the redeemed who claim his name. Not individual groups, denominations or local bodies. A more accurate marriage analogy – though a more shocking and perhaps disturbing one – for the current existence of the church might be a polygamous relationship. Don’t think for a moment that Rachel and Leah didn’t call each other out when the other was out of line.

    Better still, scripture uses the analogy of family (Romans 8:15-17) and friends (John 15:15) for the body of those who are redeemed in Christ’s name. Unfortunately, family and friends always have a little tension (and sometimes a lot) among them. More importantly, as family and friends we are RESPONSIBLE to call each other out when some members of the family are running down, abusing and ripping apart others (inside and outside the family). And that is exactly what the church is being accused of in most circles, not passive righteousness, but aggressive bullying of those inside and outside its walls; it isn’t being like Jesus. Imagine if just one of Joseph’s brothers had stood up against the others and said flatly, “What you guys are doing is wrong and it needs to stop NOW!”

    Of course, God redeemed Joseph’s situation and God’s plan wins in the end. Hallelujah. But that doesn’t mean we should remain quiet in the face of injustice. It is true that sometimes the criticism is mean-spirited. That isn’t right either. But those who are acting rudely don’t get to call “foul” when someone responds in kind.

    And just for the record, Titus and Timothy are not prescriptions for a divinely inspired church leadership model. They are prescriptions for choosing *appropriate* leaders within the existing ad hoc model.

  • RetiredAirman

    foolish illustration and poor judgment

  • Peter Mahoney

    Absolutely spot on!!! Anyone easily identify the challenges, imperfections, and problems the local (yes… the universal/invisible as well) churches faces or even creates for itself. It takes real love and leadership to not only see the the imperfections, but to see a way to solve or overcome the negatives.

    I have always believed that right doctrine/theology is the first ingredient, but after that must come a right attitude… love, compassion, and a will to see the LOCAL church and individual Christ-Followers fulfill the Great Commission and Great Commandments practically in daily life. That will take on different methodologies and thank God for that, but the attitude and principles remain the same.

    Criticism is both vital and valuable, but only if it’s constructive.

  • Mark

    Excellent, appropriate . A home bible study is good just not a substitute for the local congregation led by biblical leaders working to motivate, teach, lead, correct and urge the body to be about the gospel mission.
    Rebels meeting in a home alone can become a church after a good deal of repentance.
    Sadly, most just stay rebels.