So in the lead up to Valentine’s Day, I’ve seen quite a few posts making the very adamant point that “Jesus is not your boyfriend.”
Clearly the motivation seems to be one of annoyance, that is people wanting to be very clear that the sort of relationship you have with Jesus is one of the Creator of the universe to creature. That’s a valid point. There should always be an awesome admiration and reverence before God. So no, you shouldn’t act like Jesus is your boyfriend in that sense of casual romantic involvement. You shouldn’t listen to romantic songs and just replace the words “baby” with “Jesus” (what? I don’t watch Southpark, people just tell me about it, besides that one’s really old). It’s a bad idea. You shouldn’t go into your prayer time, or devotion time, or time at church thinking you are going to “date Jesus”, not even if you are single and it’s really hard.
Here’s the thing though.
In a way, Jesus is much more than a boyfriend. And the bible very openly uses the metaphor of a husband and wife to talk about our relationship with Jesus. So no, Jesus is not your boyfriend. He’s your husband, or at least your fiance (that whole “I go to prepare a place for you and I will come back again,” and “Drinking the cup of the covenant of my blood” stuff has marriage proposal written all over it for first century Jews).
So what does that mean?
The picture is clearly not meant to be romantic. But, if you think marriage is built solely (or even primarily) on romantic love, you may have bought into the lie of the culture that it’s all about sex. Granted, romance is an important part of human marriage, but it’s not the only part, nor even the foundation.
Did you ever hear married people talk about being married to “my best friend?” Perhaps you’ve used the phrase yourself, if you’re married. If a marriage is working like it’s supposed to work, that’s completely true. A best friend is one who “sticks closer than a brother.” This is a love that is concerned primarily with the well being of the other person, not temporary personal happiness or pleasure. It’s not “me” centered but “you” centered kind of love. How else could you live with someone willingly after you’ve seen them at their worst? After they’ve openly passed gas in front of you? (if it hasn’t happened, it will. You can only hold out for so long). It only makes sense if it’s not about you.
So, no Jesus isn’t your boyfriend. He’s a lot more than that. And he wants an intimate relationship with you where you can be yourself and know that you are still loved in spite of it. The creator of the universe, wants that kind of relationship with you. He already knows you pass gas, it’s not like it’s a secret to him. He just wants you to be able to admit that you do it (and much worse) and that he loves you anyway. God loves you, way more than a boyfriend.