Sometimes I just shake my head. I don't understand why my wife would want to be married to me? I am not extremely handsome, intelligent, compassionate, or thoughtful. Yet, of all they guys she could have chosen, she chose me.
I wonder this about most relationships between men and women. What is it that attracts them and holds them in this abstract thing we call love. I am with the writer of proverbs when he said,
"Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand (one of them is):
the way of a man with a virgin."
An evolutionist would say that we are attracted by our pheromones. We have a built in mechanism to perpetuate the species. There is definitely an unconscious drive between men and women but it isn't sufficient to cement the relationship in a life long bond. If it were merely procreation men would abandon women once impregnated. No, there is something deeper, richer, mysterious, more wonderful then we can imagine.
Social science studies it and physical science tries to explain it, but they will always come up short. Since Adam and Eve it has been a mystery (though they didn't have any other choice).
It is a mystery that can only be understood in the exploration of it. Not in the lab but by experience. It is a mystery that finds fulfillment in its crucible and once endured as precious as a gem stone.
Sin does get in the way, and that is why the Apostle Paul calls us to submit to one another in Christ. In Christ the marriage relationship is redeemed and the grand experiment allowed to progress, grow, and flourish.
Yet, all this mystery is but a picture of Jesus' relationship with the church. It is a relationship only understood in the exploration of it. The world shakes it's head at us, "why would people worship a man who died on a cross, commit their lives and resources to a God they can not see, and to people so different themselves?" In deed, why would we? Because Jesus is alive and he has made us His bride, as unreasonable as that may seem. It is a mystery.
Why do people get married? Many have experienced abusive families, they have seen failed relationships, the difficulty is obvious, so why? Because we hope that ours will be different. We hope that the ideal is achievable. We dream that stories do have happy endings. And you know what? They do, but it comes at a cost, submit to one another.
So it is with the church. Why would anyone give their lives to Jesus? Because they see the mystery of the bride of Christ, through all her flaws, and are drawn to the most exciting relationship ever offered. We follow Jesus because we are inexplicably drawn by his love. It's a mystery, and its exploration worth the journey. I'm just saying.
Ephesians 5:32 "This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church."