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Is “boyfriend” a good metaphor for my relationship with Jesus?

Here is someone who thinks that it is, and implicitly (notice the title of her article) uses pietist hymnody like “Jesus, Lover of My Soul” as Exhibit A, along with other biblical examples.

So is “boyfriend” a good metaphor? Are there differences between “Jesus, Lover of My Soul,” “In the Garden,” and “How He Loves” (lyrics below)?

He is jealous for me,
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree,
Bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.
When all of a sudden,
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I Realize just how beautiful You are,
And how great Your affections are for me.

Pre-Chorus:
And oh, how He loves us so,
Oh how He loves us,
How He loves us all

Chorus:
Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.
Yeah, He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves us,
Whoa! how He loves.

Verse 2:
We are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
So Heaven meets earth like a sloppy, wet kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about, the way…

Chorus

Verse 3:
Well, I thought about You the day Stephen died,
And You met me between my breaking.
I know that I still love You, God, despite the agony.
…They want to tell me You’re cruel,
But if Stephen could sing, he’d say it’s not true, cause…

Chorus

 

(Source)

Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

2 Responses to Is “boyfriend” a good metaphor for my relationship with Jesus?

  1. In response to the article you linked to, I would argue that she builds on a faulty foundation: Christ is the bridegroom of the church, as regenerate individuals we are part of the church which is the bride of Christ; we individually are not Christ’s bride and we are certainly not His girlfriend. Individually, Jesus is Savior, Jesus is Lord, Jesus is not our romantic interest.

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