Relationships That Reflect Christ

Ephesians 6

Good morning.

In my last post, we talked about our spiritual walk and the new life we live in Christ. Our walk with Jesus should be always growing, always maturing, always deepening. If we ever get to a point where we are not moving, then we need to beware of stagnation that will leave room for the enemy to wreak havoc in our lives and stall our spiritual growth. Today we’re going to talk about how our spiritual walk translates in our relationships. The verses today speak mainly of marriage and family. If you are not married or don’t have children, please hang in there, I promise there is something here for you as well. Before we get started, take a moment to enter into God’s presence in prayer. 

Read Ephesians 5:21-6:9

Quotes are from the NKJV.

A lot of times we so simply dismiss these verses and we do so for a variety of reasons. One of the main reasons is that we simply don’t like what they have to say. 

First, in 5:22 it says “Wives, submit to your husbands, as to the Lord.” 

As women, our culture has taught us that submission of any kind is a bad thing. The women’s movement has infiltrated the church, and we’re not even aware that it undermines God’s design for the family. It’s one of the reasons that there is a breakdown in the foundation of the family. Now please read this through before you drag me out to be stoned. It goes on beginning in verse 23 to say, “For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.”  

First, let’s look at what submission is NOT. 

Submission does not mean the wife is inferior to her husband. Just as in the body of Christ, we have different roles to play. The same is true in the marital relationship. We each have a role. One isn’t better than the other, just different. The husband is head of the home as Christ is head of the church. 

I love how the NLT translates 1 Peter 3:5, 7 

(v. 5)“This is how the holy women of old made themselves beautiful. They put their trust in God and accepted the authority of their husbands.” 

(v. 7) “In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.” 

Submission does not imply passivity. A submissive wife may actively try to influence her husband for God. Check out 1 Peter 3:1-6 and the Proverbs 31 woman who was anything but passive. As wives, we are our husband’s helpmates. It is totally appropriate for us to humbly confront a husband that is in sin or communicate our dissatisfaction with insensitivity or distant and/or indifferent behavior. Without honest communication, a marriage cannot grow in intimacy. 

Submission does not mean you bury your spiritual gifts. Women have a role to play in the body of Christ just as men do. Check out Priscilla in Acts 18:24-26 and Lois and Eunice in 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15.  I’m sure you could find more examples if you searched the Scriptures. I think of many women today that are godly influences in both men’s and women’s lives. For instance, Elisabeth Elliot, to me, is a great example. 

Furthermore, submission is not enduring a physically abusive relationship where you or your children are in danger. 

Submission means that after thorough, honest sharing of opinions and feelings, if there is still disagreement, the wife must go along with the husband’s decision, as long as it is not sinful. He will have to answer to God for his decisions. Submission is giving our husbands respect even if we don’t feel he deserves it. 

If we can’t submit to our husbands, have we truly submitted to the Lordship of Christ? 

Let’s move on to the next section that we generally don’t like or think doesn’t apply to us. 

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother, which is the first commandment with a promise. That it may be well with you and you may live long on the Earth.” (6:1-3) 

Yes, our children should obey us, it is one of the ten commandments. However, we shouldn’t dominate over them any more than our husbands should dominate over us. Children need structure and discipline, and love and respect. This relationship of parent and child is just as much of a balance as husband and wife. We are their parents, not their friends, but they are also humans created in the image of Christ that deserve love and respect. 

What about our own parents? Are we honoring them even though we’re grown? Sometimes we’ve had bad experiences with our parents as children, and we don’t think that they deserve our honor and respect but again, we are commanded to honor our father and our mother. It doesn’t say only if they deserve it. 

The final section we are going to look at today is verses 6:5-9. Again, we oftentimes dismiss these verses because we think it’s talking about slaves and masters and doesn’t apply to us. These can also apply to an employer and an employee. Do you represent Christ as an employee or as an employer? Do the relationships that you have at work show honor and respect for those you work for or who work for you? Does the way you treat them or act give honor to the God you serve? 

All of these verses today deal with our relationships. Whether it be in our family or at work. We are to submit to those in authority, and we are to honor and respect one another.  In doing so, we honor the God we serve. 

My challenge for us today: 

Spend some time in prayer asking God to reveal any areas in your relationships that need to be mended. If so, make an attempt this week to reconcile and begin to make things right. 

I’m praying for each of you and your families today. 

Here are links to read other posts in this series. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 7.

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