I was talking to friends last week about wives and women and such. I made the statement (and I believe it was somewhat sexually charged) that women are freakin' awesome and they are pretty much God's greatest gift to man (in all the right ways). But I also said that unfortunately you have to be careful with them because they break way too easily (and a man is never more miserable than when he's got a broke wife). When it's good, it's awesome - but when it's bad, it's hell!
Anyway, all that to say I was thinking last night about how the church is always referred to as "she" or "the bride" in the Bible. I don't think this is an accident and we would all probably do well to remember that our churches (which also means us) are in most ways "female".
In the same way that I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with my wife, I feel very much the same way about the church. I love her. She pisses me off quicker than anyone else. She is pleasing to me. Sometimes she nags me till I want to shoot myself in the head. She gives me companionship that I don't get anywhere else. She won't leave me alone. She appeals to all my senses. She's hard to please. She provides for me. She leaves me feeling empty sometimes. I am stronger when I'm with her. She's always interrupting the game. She encourages me. She's way too sensitive. She loves me and would do anything for me. I can never bring myself to leave her, and have finally decided to stop trying. She's beautiful. She's way too concerned with her appearance, but she looks her best when she's stripped down the way God made her (see Song of Solomon).