It’s really cool how everything in this world (the good stuff) boils down to a symbolism that has its root and meaning and signification in God. It says that it was “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him, to shew unto His servants…” (Revelation 1:1, emphasis mine) As always, (again, with the things that are good) we get a window on the incipience of something huge, beginning on high, being handed off to Christ and in turn diffused to and through us.
“This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Ephesians 5:29)
In relation to marriage, Paul has, beginning back at the twenty-second verse, just lined out a litany of rules and regulations pertaining to the thing known as “Christian marriage”. He sews up his instruction with an admission that, “okay, I was actually referring to how individuals within the Body of Christ are to relate to their Lord. Not just marriage.”
Well enough alone
“His disciples say unto Him, If the case of the man be so with his wife (referring to the lust-filled whims of those who can’t commit), it is not good to marry. But He said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given.” (Matthew 19:10-11)
That’s not me, I assure you. Maybe for a time I subconsciously excised that part of me that was looking out for “the one” and instead just looked out for number One (it’s capitalized because it’s not me). Yes, in my time of singleness before the Lord, the Father showed me how to protect myself and to grow and exercise my gift of discernment in order to keep those who would be detrimental to my health—spiritual and otherwise—out. But I was focusing on Him, you understand. I have always had the desire to get married and to meet the one (it’s italicized because I do believe that through the ebb and flow of will and desire, you meet the person God made for you). But it’s a fluid thing. Up till the last great heartbreak of my life, I had always thought I was smart enough—and also sensitive enough to the Lord—to know when I’d see her. I was pretty keyed in to the type of girl I found attractive and if they matched an internal-preference, uh, flow chart, I would pursue. And please understand, it isn’t about hair color or body type, it’s fluid. Not that it changes, either, and I’m not mercurial. There are things I find attractive and things I don’t. Simple as that. But again, there was that deep, wordless part of me that was holding back for God-knows-what. For a time, I understood that there were aspects to my psyche and perception that were skewed from having witnessed my parents divorce and so I held back because I was not ready. I should also like to make mention of the fact that during my time of infatuation (or convalescence between coupling attempts, whichever) I missed out on some with whom the Lord most definitely didn’t want me enmeshed. It’s always interesting to look back at the order of operations that kept me from getting involved with the wrong woman.
The main word of caution the Lord issued to me when I met “the one” (it’s in quotations because she wasn’t) came from Luke’s Gospel (7:19b): “Art Thou He that should come or do we look for another?” While in prison, John sent a couple of his disciples to Jesus in order to determine whether or not He was the Messiah. Jesus didn’t answer with “Yes I am.” We know what happens when He asserts Himself in such a manner (see John 18:6). No, Jesus answered very practically. He essentially said “look at the fruit”, the results: “Tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached.” (7:22) When I met this person, I had never been so on fire for another individual. But, as God knows all things, He gave me this very simple watchword: How does she respond? And you know what? She didn’t. At least not in the way that I wanted and was holding out for. This isn’t in any way against her, just that someone who was your cosmically betrothed would have indicated that s/he had the same love for you that you had for them. And so was shattered that paradigm of meeting “the one” at the outset. Praise God. In talking to John’s disciples, Jesus also says, at the end of the list of things He’d been doing that proved He was Messiah, “blessed is he (and she), whosoever shall not be offended in me.” (7:23) The person with whom your’e looking to unite cannot blunt your faith. Don’t let it happen.
What followed was one of the hardest lessons I had ever been blessed to learn: that of understanding how Jesus feels when He wants someone who in turn doesn’t want Him. He was the only person outside myself who truly understood the hurt I had felt. The rejection and bitterness and resentment. He validated me even as He let me in on a part of Him that is reserved for those who are willing to suffer in order to get there. I also learned that Jesus is Lord over believers who are so radically different from one another that the only thing in common is each other’s spiritual heritage. Different minds, different hearts, different genders and different life trajectories.
Taking a side
“But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.” (John 19:34)
See, it’s a fluid thing. The same thing happened to Adam when “the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Both Adam and Jesus were asleep (more so in the case of Christ) and so God could operate. The same act of opening Adam’s flank in order to produce Eve is made perfect in the splitting of Christ’s side so as to resurrect His Bride (see Revelation 19:7-9), the Body of Christ. But there is necessarily a death of sorts. In the case of us—I write this to single, unmarried men in the service of God who desire a wife from Him—we must have that part of us turned off, for lack of a better term, so that God can surprise us with someone wonderful.
“And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam (speaking of Christ) was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from Heaven.” (1 Corinthians 15:45-45-47)