Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Meditation on God: Husband

*** Unusual content warning. :) ***

The other day in a class I'm taking on Christian spirituality we did a meditation in which a single word speaking of God is used as the focus of meditation. The leader suggested some possibilities such as Abba or Father, Lord, Shaddai, Shepherd, Husband or Bridegroom, Lord, and so forth. I didn't know how far I was going to get with most of them, so I decided to take a risk: husband or bridegroom. The Bible often portrays God in general and Christ in particular as husband or bridegroom. I chose it because some of the others seemed fairly impersonal. I probably should have foreseen that this would lead to some very personal reflections ...

I'm posting this in hopes that it will be a useful meditation for those of us walking the paths of our lives alone.

God as Husband

Stands with me
Cherishes me
Loves me
Is kind and tender toward me
Glad to see me
Watches over me
Listens to me
Takes away the shame of abandonment
Takes away the shame of being unloved
Defends me from unkind reports
Advocates for me with others
Wipes away my tears
Makes me beautiful
Hears my sorrows
Hears my joys
Makes me glad by his presence
Makes me look forward to the future with gladness because I will not be alone


P.S. an after-thought said...

I've heard it said that some people don't like to use Father as a name for God because of their own bad experience with their father or with men. My father was FAR from an ideal father, but certainly he didn't do some of the things one hears about. However, he was an angry person.....

I view God as Father as in "ideal Father."

I think you've chosen phrases that are parallel, ie Ideal Husband.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Your last-listed item reminds me of a slogan I heard recently and liked: "I do not know what the future holds, but I do know Him Who holds the future."


Weekend Fisher said...

<< I've heard it said that some people don't like to use Father as a name for God because of their own bad experience with their father or with men. >>

The instructor keeps mentioning that. And while I'm 100% sure it's true, I also think that when all our hurts are healed everyone will be able to call God "Father". I expect that at some point -- maybe not until heaven -- those hurts will be healed by being able to call God "Father".

P.S. an after-thought said...

Another aspect of this is that I think people "make their own theology" to deal with certain situations in their lives. And that's OK. But I had one time that I couldn't find a reason, a theological reason, for something bad that happened to me. I finally was "healed" by someone praying over me. The situation didn't change, but I changed. BTW, don't speculate that this was a nasty situation. It was, actually, a fairly common, but inexplicable, health event.

Annette said...

not a bad post, thanks. :)

Mirela said...

I wish you'd have given the Bible references on which your 'God as Husband/bridegroom' list is based.

Weekend Fisher said...

Hi Mirela

Sorry that your comment went unnoticed so long; I hadn't been checking comments on older posts.

When I started looking at how often God referred to himself as husband, I was surprised how often it came up. The first things I noticed were the smaller ones that were immediately obvious to me -- like when Jesus answers a question on fasting by saying that he's like a bridegroom (Matt 9:15, Mark 2:19, Luke 5:34), or John the Baptist roughly equating himself as the Best Man and Jesus as the bridegroom with his people as the bride (John 3:29). Isaiah does the same kind of imagery (Isaiah 62:5). Paul compares Christ and his church to a man and his wife (Eph 5:31-32).

Other big-picture stuff started registering with me too. In the Old Testament, one of the minor prophets had basically his entire book devoted to the extended comparison of how God and his people are like a husband and his wife (Hosea). Jesus said the kingdom of God was like a king giving a wedding feast for his son (Matt 22, first half of the chapter). In Revelation, the church is the bride, the Lamb's wife. Revelation 21:9 is the pull quote, but it is placed so that the end and high point of all creation is our marriage to God.

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF