Tuesday, December 20, 2011

He Never Deprives Me

"But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him." (1 Corinthians 6:17)

This falls in the middle of a passage about the Christian and his sex life.
It goes on to say, "Flee sexual immorality."
I've known that for a long time.

But the other day, I started thinking about this,
which is just a few more verses in:
"Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her,
and likewise also the wife to her husband.
The wife does not have authority over her own body,
but the husband does.
And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body,
but the wife does.
Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time,
that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer;
and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you
because of your lack of self-control...
Now to the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord:
A wife is not to depart from her husband...
For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife,
and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband,
otherwise your children would be unclean, but now they are holy."

The material part of this passage
has always seemed simple enough to understand to me.
But as I thought it over the other day, something else began to be clear.

In Ephesians 5 it says,
"Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies.
He that loveth his own wife loveth himself:
for no man ever hated his own flesh;
but nourisheth and cherisheth it,
even as Christ also the church;
because we are members of his body.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother,
and shall cleave to his wife;
and the two shall become one flesh.
This mystery is great: but I speak in regard of Christ and of the church. 
Nevertheless do ye also severally love each one his own wife even as himself;
and let the wife see that she fear her husband."

When the mystery is brought into it,
the rendering of affection takes on a whole new meaning.
How He ought to be adored is far more than I have ever given Him.
But Christ has given Himself body and soul to me.
To be joined in one spirit with me.
And He never fails to render affection to me, though it is certainly not my due.
But it is His due, with all certainty.
And how often I am cold and unresponsive to Him.
And oh, how to even think of the authority He allows me with Him --
and my failure to reciprocate.

He gives Himself to me to withstand temptation,
knowing my lack of self-control --
and He never deprives me of Himself.
He makes Himself provision for my failure.
How stupid for me to depart from Him,
seeing He is my sanctification.
I am the 'unbelieving wife' in this little life-picture.
He is the one who makes my fruit holy, my 'children', in a sense.
In departing from Him, they're all unclean.

In loving me, Christ loves Himself,
because He has permanently joined me to Himself.
And He ministers to my needs as though they were His.
He cleaves to me.
And shall I not worship Him?

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