As a man, I’ve always identified more with verses about being a son or king or priest than being a daughter or queen.
Lately the Lord has been talking to me about being the Bride of Christ, and what that looks like. All my life, I’ve been interested in Revelations, and the verses about the wedding of the Lamb have often caught my attention. But really thinking about that means accepting the idea that I will be participating, intimately, in a role perceived mainly as feminine.
Okay, I know, the gender construct in a purely spiritual situation is really irrelevant, but it’s still been hard to shake that discomfort.
But lately, what He’s been leading me to, over and over, is the idea of “a man shall leave his father and mother” with regard to marriage – and more specifically, how that extends beyond natural marriage into its ultimate conclusion – leaving aside anything that interrupts my ability to truly become part of the Bride of Christ, a spouse fit for the Lamb of God.
Today He drew me to Psalm 45, where the wedding of a king is being honored by the Psalmist. Jewish theologians have long understood this Psalm to be referring to the future wedding of the Messiah. And as Christians we can relate that to the wedding ceremony described in Revelations – but with the added anticipation of being part of the wedding.
Here’s the specific bit that caught my eye today, the second section speaking to the bride. We tend to focus on the King in such readings – but Holy Spirit drew me today to the words spoken to the Bride instead.
10 Listen, daughter, and pay careful attention:
Forget your people and your father’s house.
11 Let the king be enthralled by your beauty;
honor him, for he is your lord.
12 The city of Tyre will come with a gift,
people of wealth will seek your favor.
13 All glorious is the princess within her chamber;
her gown is interwoven with gold.
14 In embroidered garments she is led to the king;
her virgin companions follow her—
those brought to be with her.
15 Led in with joy and gladness,
they enter the palace of the king.
16 Your sons will take the place of your fathers;
you will make them princes throughout the land.
17 I will perpetuate your memory through all generations;
therefore the nations will praise you for ever and ever.
Go back and catch verses 10 and 16 again. “Forget your people and your father’s house.” “Your sons will take the place of your fathers; you will make them princes throughout the land.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about spiritual families, and specifically being aligned beneath spiritual fathers. I think there’s something important here, in the larger context of our prophetic future heritage. It’s about our value as the Bride of Christ, the consort of the King of the Universe, raising up the princes who will rule the kingdom – not rule in the sense of sitting on the throne, but rule in the sense of representing the king’s interests around his kingdom, sometimes acting on behalf of the king, not collecting the honor and glory, but being the direct conduit of the king’s authority into the kingdom – the ultimate ambassadors.
To me, it’s a focus shift. Fathers are good and necessary – but when we truly become the Bride of the Lamb, we “leave our father and mother;” our focus shifts from being parented to parenting, from receiving to giving, from being instructed to instructing, from (as it were) being ruled to facilitating and growing those who will rule. And it’s not a pride thing, but an honor and duty thing – being given the awesomely important and extremely challenging task to “make them princes” – to prepare them and train them and set them in place – ready and able to rule.
It was a message to me of raising my eyes, and swinging my gaze from my past to my future. Not abandoning anything, but recognizing its time of completion and the change to a new ultimate tasking and its importance.
And it’s also a shift in focus for me – from being FATHERED to being a MOTHER. Again, not a gendered construct in this temporary world, but recognizing a different kind of grace, shifting from a focus on ruling and being ruled, towards loving and relating and shaping and mentoring those destined to rule.