Let’s think of the following passage as a general guide to life’s relationships:
Read here: Ephesians 5:22-6:9
Life is full of relationships, and they all have their expectations and boundaries. We can’t just do whatever we like, but should think about the other person.
On first glance lots of the advice here seems a bit old fashioned, and somewhat controversial in today’s politically correct world. However, in all the advice that Paul gives, he is using the relationship of Christ and the Church as an example. So to understand what Paul means, let’s look at that relationship first.
What’s the relationship of Christ to the Church? Well, Christ loves the Church unconditionally no matter what. When I say Church, I don’t mean a building, I mean us, the people. Whether the Church doing good or bad, he still loves it. He also gave his life for the Church, at great cost to him, but as a totally free gift for us. So if we use this as an example to how husbands should behave towards their wives, then they should love their wives unconditionally, whether they are right or wrong, and also give their life for their wives, and be the ultimate servant to them.
Ok now let’s flip that around and look at the Churches relationship to Christ. It’s one of submission, but submitting not through fear but through love, reflecting the unconditional love of God. So what is Paul saying to wives? He’s not suggesting that wives submit it their husbands out of fear or as a slave, but in love, as the Church submits to Christ in love.
Paul then goes on to talk about the relationship between children and parents. The greatest honor a child can give their parents is obedience. But this cant just be a one-sided thing – parents should not aggravate or provoke their children to the end of their tether. If each person respects the other, then they both receive respect. If each one honors the other, then they will both receive honor. It’s win-win.
So to sum it all up, whatever the relationship, the way in which that relationship is carried out should be with respect to God.
Dear Lord, thank you for the people around me who know me and love me. Help me to become better a better person by basing my relationships on your firm foundation of love. Amen.