Wake up your sanctified imagination and think of this scenario:
A man invites a friend into his home for dinner. They enjoy a delicious meal that the man's wife had graciously offered to make.
The man and his friend casually catch up on life, but then halfway through the meal, the invited guest starts to do something unbelievable.
He starts listing things that his friends' wife could have done better.
His friend says, "the chicken was way too tough, You should have marinated it longer. And the broccoli is overcooked, mushy and bland. My 12 year old daughter could cook a better meal. And you should really do something else with your hair."
Then he starts to criticize her character, even ridicule her.
It doesn't take a brain surgeron to realize his visit could be cut short. And the guest would probably be sent away with a few choice words.
Even if he was right about certain things, the typical husband simply wouldn't tolerate someone openly and caustically criticizing his wife.
He loves her, and for a husband, that leads to accepting and honoring his wife despite her quirks and shortcomings.
Did you realize that the church is the bride of Christ?
That Christ gave his life for the church?
And what's interesting is how followers of Christ can tolerate this mean-spirited criticism all the time when it is directed at the church.
If we are not careful, it is easy for us to look at the church and her leaders, and says, "The church should have done (and fill in the blank)." Or, "I wish they hadn't done (and fill in the blank)."
Just remember, the next time you are really laying into the church - that you are talking about the "wife" of Jesus.
Just a thought for a Thursday.