“ … submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
Everyone wants great relationships, but not everyone gets them. Why not? Because you don’t get the relationships you want; you get the relationships you build.
How people respond to you is largely driven by how you respond to them. If you want to improve any relationship in your life, the place to begin is with yourself. As we said in yesterday’s devotional, that is why Paul begins this relationship section with the admonition to “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
It is imperative that we approach all of our relationships with a mindset of reverence for Christ combined with love and humility toward others. This doesn’t happen automatically because we are Christians. It takes focused effort. It takes work.
Unfortunately, when it comes to relationships, many people often want more than they are willing to work for. Sometimes the desire for a happy relationship is greater than the willingness to engage in the hard work necessary to build it. When this happens, relationships break down. Or worse, they become difficult and painful. When it comes to relationships, be careful of wishing for more than you are willing to work for.
The bottom line is this: The grass is always greener where you water it.
Paul first addresses marriage. He teaches that marriage between a Christian husband and wife is a symbol of Christ and the church.
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (vs 22-25)
The unity and oneness of husband/wife represent the unity and oneness between Christ and his bride, the church. The attitude and behavior of all Christian husbands and wives should be informed and directed by this profound truth.
A healthy marriage begins when a husband and wife are both submitted to Christ, when a wife honors her husband as the head of the household, and when a husband loves his wife as Christ loved the church. This mindset of reverence for Christ and mutual submission to each other is the heart of a healthy, godly marriage.
As we will see tomorrow, reverence for Christ and mutual respect for each other in marriage will produce the love and respect that make a marriage work.