Jesus is not your boyfriend
Or your homeboy.
Has our evangelical culture, in its eagerness to emotionalize our personal relationship with God Jesus, trended towards an essentially erotic view of said relationship? From the post at Her.meneutics,
It was not uncommon at my conservative Christian college to overhear girls say that Jesus was their "boyfriend" until God brought the right man along. I once had a girl tell me she could not hang out on a Friday night because she had a “date” with God. In our churches, many of our praise and worship songs border on the “love song” language, leading many girls to equate those warm and fuzzy feelings that come with attraction with Jesus. This is a dangerous place to be. Not only is it an incomplete picture of who our Christ is, it also sends the message that the girls (and women) who are truly devoted to Jesus equate contentment in him with a romantic relationship with him.
Reading the comments left at the post is also interesting. A sampling,
We used to sing this at a young adult study I used to go to:
"I wanna sit at your feet Drink from the cup in your hand. Lay back against you and breath, feel your heart beat This love is so deep, it's more than I can stand. I melt in your peace, it's overwhelming"
I could never sing the song and it took me completely out of worship. I'm a dude and this in NO WAY represents my walk with Christ. It's borderline creepy to me and almost sexual. It did, however, REALLY make me curious as to how women see a relationship with christ differently than a man does due to gender differences.
Posted By: b | June 25, 2012 1:26 PM
just can't handle the "So in love with you" songs about Jesus any more. It just seems too close to the eroticism of love songs.
One of our younger male pastors (when he was working with youth) would often talk about "being so in love with Jesus" and used other language that had a boyfriend feel to it. I told him this way of talking could have a rather creepy feel about it, especially to the adolescent boys just coming to terms with their sexuality - he looked at me like I was crazy. It may also have a certain appeal to young females so wanting to have a boyfriend experience.
Posted By: Annie | June 25, 2012 3:11 PM
Yet what of the Biblical references to Israel's rebellion being akin to having an adulterous affair, or the overt sexuality found in Song of Solomon, or that the New Covenant church is referenced as the bride of Christ?
It's my understanding that such analogies always refer to the corporate body (i.e., the nation of Israel or the church as a whole) and are not indicative of the personal relationship each individual follower of Christ has with God. Note that in the upper room discourse Jesus calls his disciples friends, or how Paul refers to Christ followers as sons of God, or how virtually all of Jesus' disciples and followers addressed him as Lord, Rabbi, Teacher, etc., and not as Lover.
I think that because our culture emphasizes the emotional aspect of relationships (and, that is not necessarily a bad thing) we sometimes mistake the relationship, or direction, of various Biblical analogies. We need to remember that the various earthly analogies we have are but reflections of the heavenly aspect being presented. Thus, when Paul writes that all Christ followers, both men and women, are sons of God, he is not ignoring or deprecating the status of women, nor is he equating us to the Son of God. Rather, he is indicating that, as in the culture of his time, just as all sons received the family inheritance, so all sons of God (Christ followers) will receive God's inheritance.
As the author of the post states,
Just as self-marriage misses the mark for what God designed marriage to point to, “marriage” to Jesus misses what his work accomplished. Marriage to Jesus while waiting for a husband can often trivialize our Savior in a way that makes him more like a sweet boyfriend who takes us out on dates, rather than the God-man who paid for our sin on the cross. Jesus did not accomplish redemption to marry us individually. He died for the church corporate, of which we are apart [sic]. His death accomplished something much greater than simply meeting our deep-seated desires for a significant other. That is what Paul is getting at in Ephesians 5:22–33 when speaks of the mystery of marriage.