Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

Q: “What do you say to Christian men who have a problem with the fact that they are part of the bride of Christ? After all it is a feminine position and in this upside-down world where everything sacred is under attack, especially gender, how can this matter be rectified in an edifying way?” 

A: First of all, there is no gender when it comes to the instruments and vessels God uses in His kingdom work. He is no respecter of persons and does not regard the outside stature of a person but tests and tries their heart. Such a perspective eliminates a lot of criteria that we humans use to consider if a person is worthy of any real respect when it comes to religion. Man needs to remember he is not overseeing God’s Kingdom or Church, and that every believer is called, but God will choose how He uses each believer in His kingdom (1 Samuel 16:7; Acts 10:34; Matthew 20:16; Romans 6:13; 2 Corinthians 4:7; Galatians 3:28).

Every believer, whether male or female, is called to the position of a servant. The servant is not greater than his Master and they that become a servant to all will be considered great in the kingdom of God (Matthew 20:25-27). As servants in the Body of Christ, we are to submit to one another out of fear of God for the benefit of the Body (Ephesians 5:21). We are told in 1 Corinthians 12:22-26 that those who are considered the lesser members of the Body must be exalted to ensure that the other members recognize their importance in the functioning of the whole body.

Man is considered the head of his wife, not the church body. “Head” in this text means leadership by example. Keep in mind, there is only one head of a body. We know that man is the head of his wife in the home, but Christ is the head of the man and the church. Keep in mind, “church” means assembly called out and does not point to either male or female (1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 1:18).

We are told the Church is made up of lively stones, and the Holy Spirit is the One who places each stone in the Body and gives them gifts as He so wills (1 Corinthians 12:11-14; 1 Peter 2:5). As believers, we are attached to the man Christ, but since marriage is a manifestation of the type of relationship He desires to have with the Church, the Church is regarded as the redeemed Bride, who is being prepared for her groom (Ephesians 5:30-32). When it comes to the Body, the Church it is not about gender, but relationship. Whether male or female we must be identified with the head since we are part of His body.

If any man has a hangup with the concept of the Church being the bride, then I would say he does not understand who he is in Christ and that his limited, worldly concept will keep him from coming to that most sacred place of fellowship with the Lord. Remember, it was the man Paul who unveiled this mystery about Christ and the Church, and he didn’t have any problem with the concept of the Church being the bride. This revelation was also in light of him being the “worst of sinners” and “the least among all saints to be called and used by the Lord” (Ephesians 3:8; 1 Timothy 1:15).

Is this not true for each of us? None of us can bring anything to the table of significance when it comes to the Lord, including our particular gender. †