In Love With Jesus?

Consider this a brief follow-up to the Feminine Worship? post of a few weeks ago. Brian recently referred to a post by John Stackhouse titled "Jesus, I'm not in love with you". Here are a few excerpts from his John's short post:
First, I’m not in love with Jesus. The locution “in love with” is one I reserve for one person only: my wife. I love my sons, I love my siblings and parents, I love my friends, I love my country, I love my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I love God. But I’m not “in love” with any of them. And I daresay most of the rest of us use this phrase in exactly the same, highly-restrictive way.
But the New Testament never calls Christians Jesus’ fiancĂ©es or his brides. Instead, it is the Church collectively, and only the Church as a whole, that relates to Jesus this way–just as individual Israelites did not relate to Yhwh as so many spouses, but only the nation of Israel as nation was his beloved bride.
This is a totally new thought for me that challenges my thinking about what it is to love and be "in love". You'd do well to read John's post. I'd appreciate any of your thoughts on the subject.


  1. I separate my comments from Mr. Stackhouse's, as he doesn't seem like the kind of man who gives those with whom he disagrees a fair shake.

    The formulation, "in love with," is colloquially used most often for sexual relationships - agreed. Still, it commonly can mean a number of things. People use it to describe their relationships to things, groups and people with whom they have no desire for physical intimacy. So, opening the phrase to use toward a Being with Whom we have the opportunity to experience spiritual intimacy seems entirely appropriate to me.

    Many assert that love is a verb, and not a noun. By this they mean that love is something we do, and not a feeling. These people tend to disparage the whole idea of "being in love" as an inferior thing to "loving." But describing the feeling of intense good luck that attends having found someone whom you love, and who loves you back, is a verbal necessity. And that's what "being in love with" means. It means being happy to have found a lover.

    So why is it inappropriate to feel this toward God again?

    Ah yes. Because God is "in love with" the bride as an aggregate, and not with her individual members. God does not love us in particular, but only as we are gathered together into an amalgam. And then the odd argument is advanced that this individual love thing is too much like a medieval mystical approach to God. Odd, because the medieval mystics uniformly taught that our goal was to lose ourselves into the amalgam of oneness with God, and to throw off our individuality as a tremendous hindrance to true approach to the Divine.

    No, God loves His bride, and He loves me as a member of it. I rejoice in singing how God is in love with me, because He says He is. He is blessed - not to say He feels lucky - to have found in me someone who loves Him. He is also blessed in this same way by you, and Dr Stackhouse, etc. He is also blessed in a bride who loves Him, and dichotomizing the individual and body is false.

    But what's more to the point is whether I feel happy that I have found a God Who loves me, and Whom I love. Yeah. I couldn't feel luckier. So, I love Him, and am happy about that fact.

    Yep, I'm in love with God, the Father, Jesus, and even the quiet Spirit. And anyone who would try to take that away sounds very much like one of those people in the square who would neither dance nor mourn when called to.

  2. This is a really interesting question. I think part of the problem is that English only has one word for "love" whereas Greek has four. Do I "eros" God? I read a very relevant article on this released by a prophetic leader. I actually think He had some important points. The link is:

  3. Oops! I capitalized "he" - didn't mean to imply this guy is God or anything... lol!

  4. Thanks for your input CP and Sarah. I agree with most of what you said CP but do think that (even though you and I are comfortable with it) many men stumble over the 'in love with Jesus' phrase. That is kind of what I have been thinking about.

    After reading Sarah's comment I thought that I'd look at what greek words are used when refering to us loving God and husbands loving their wives. Interesting enough the same word, agapaō, is used when the scriptures command us to love God and husbands to love their wives. I think that this might debunk the idea that you can't be 'in love' with Jesus ... might even put a new spin on agapaō ... but I am really not smart enough to do that :)

  5. Thanks for the link Sarah ... I get Andrew's email distribution (he used to be based in KC) ... I liked these points that he made:

    "The effect of this doctrine on young men is particularly distressing. To describe it as "effeminate" is quite an understatement."

    "Incidentally, the 'Bride of Christ' in Revelation is described as a 'holy city' - a "new Jerusalem" coming down from heaven. (Rev 21). So it is clearly a 'CORPORATE' entity that exists at the end of the age. -Not some individualized "girlfriend of Jesus" in the here-and-now."

  6. On the one hand, I agree that our love toward God should not be sexualized. No argument. If anyone is talking about getting to second base with God, they need to reevaluate whether they are truly alive in Christ, or whether they are worshipping the flesh in some way under His Name.

    I agree our music is weak, and you've heard me say so. I'm not defending CCM. I love the rare moment I find a song that expresses something worth saying. I usually memorize it that day, and sing it for months. So, go ahead and attack weak songs for being weak.

    On the other hand, what would these people have said had they been standing there when Mary, sister of Lazarus, anointed with oil and tears the feet of the Lord she loved? Oh, I know what they say now, and I know how they'll protest, but I wonder. Had they been there in the heat of the moment, would they have questioned the extravegance of the display?

    And what if Mary had been Mark? Would that have made it homoerotic? Would it be distressing to see me, a man, annointing the feet of the man I loved more than life with my tears?

    Feelers feel. Thinkers think. Trying to tell feelers that it's wrong to feel, or at least wrong to put powerful feelings into words, is just heartbreaking. Nowhere and at no time have I ever told man or woman he was wrong to not gush with feeling toward the Lord. And yet people are so concerned that they tell me I'm wrong to do so. I wish people would quit.

  7. On the subject of feelings and worship, check this out by Eclexia:

  8. This is interesting, I guess these songs started up around the time that I "fell in love" with Jesus..LOL.
    I love Jesus, I'm a complete freak for Him. They don't offend me, but I don't care for those songs much, either. "Jesus, I am so in love with You." I guess "Jesus, WE are so in love with You" makes more sense, since we're talking corporate Body.

  9. "Jesus, WE are so in love with You"

    That makes more sense to me as well Karen.

  10. i can't believe i've been missing out on this blog, sorry i haven't read it in so long.


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