Imagine there were no men in the world, only women. (No wisecracks, please.) What if there were one woman who had a husband, the only man on planet Earth… How would she describe him to her companions?
She could describe his physical features. Perhaps she could describe his biological makeup and its differences to women’s. Perhaps she could describe his personality and his attitude about different things, his opinions and his judgments, his likes and dislikes, his preferences. Perhaps she could describe how he made her feel and why she loved him.
What if this man desired to meet his wife’s friends and sisters? To know them? To become friends with them? Which part of his descriptions listed above would mean the most to the women with whom the wife was conversing?
Personally speaking, the physical characteristics of a man would be interesting but not compelling for me to meet him. His genetic makeup and internal differences to me would also be stimulating to my intellect but would give me little desire to meet him. His thoughts and opinions on certain topics might make me interested in hearing him for myself, but might not. However, if I met a woman truly in love with a man and who described how much he loved her, that would be compelling. To a woman who knew many facts about a man, I would listen, mildly interested. To a woman in a profound, mutually loving relationship with a man, I would listen rapturously and perhaps feel a yearning within myself to share in such a relationship – I would want to experience it for myself.
God is that man. He is the only God, and He desires relationships with each one of us.
Imagine there were some women who believed men did not exist or could not fathom a man’s form. The physical and internal biological descriptions would serve useful to convince them, and perhaps this would draw them to the point that they were now willing to listen to the relationship aspect of this man.
I am not saying arguments about God do not have their place. But I am saying they are not most important.
God describes us as His bride. A marriage does not begin nor flourish through simply intellectual facts and knowledge, although facts and knowledge certainly do strengthen a relationship. A true, deep relationship forms through time spent together, effort invested into one another, affection grown through experiences… God is our Husband! Do not treat Him as a textbook to be studied and memorized, a formula to be learned, or a law to be obeyed. He is a Person, the original Person from whom all other persons came forth. Including you.
A woman might know lots of facts about a man, but she will compel fewer people to meet him than the woman who knows little more than how much he is loving.
We all know this. When pursuing a potential contact, someone’s personal experience outweighs for us mere dry facts. If I am investigating which class I want to take at a college, reading a professor’s credentials will mean less to me than a fellow student saying, “I’ve taken this certain professor and learned so much! He really speaks in a way I can understand and knows his stuff. He’s patient and helpful and also has a great sense of humor. I loved his class.” Are the professor’s credentials unimportant? Certainly not! In fact, they are important! Yet they are not the MOST important when it comes to choosing which class I will take.
This applies to telling other people about God. Don’t get so caught up in the facts that you forget about the relationship, especially your own relationship with God! Others will be more interested by that than by your facts and theories. A person in love is compelling. But how can others be compelled or interested in seeking God for themselves if that love is lacking in you? Fall in love with God yourself. As a Person.
Please don’t misunderstand me – facts are an integral part of a good relationship. They are vital! A relationship without facts is a fairy tale illusion. A good relationship thrives on facts and constantly seeks to know more. (Read your Bible!) And yet, facts without relationship are dead. Don’t leave out the relationship. As evangelists, our sole purpose is not to convince others that God exists, but to introduce a future bride to the loving Husband.
Beloved Church, you are the Bride of Christ – are you in love with your Husband?