Paul knew that the bride (i.e., those who believed in Christ) was betrothed to Christ alone. Paul was zealous that no man – not even if he was an apostle – be allowed to lay claim to her. The bride was to be kept pure for Him who was to come.
Even so, we must see that the bride in every generation is treated just as respectfully. No one else can lay claim to her. And we certainly are not to dismember her. Yet that is what we have attempted to do. We have torn her limb from limb and given her pieces to every willing ruler. We have treated her like the concubine in Judges. There are over thirty thousand pieces (denominations) and counting.
Yet the Lord knows those who are His and He has kept them.
The prohibition against adultery was important enough to be among the ten commandments. Thus, the metaphor of bride was intended to communicate something sacred and unique to all who would serve the Lord and His bride.
We who serve are merely attendants to the bridegroom. The bride is His.