More important than position or possessions, are the relationships we have in life. God is in the business of healing our relationships. The number one relationship in life is your relationship with God. Your relationship with God is going to influence and determine all others. As we continue through Ephesians, we’ll see that Paul offers insight into three particular types of relationships. In each of these, we learn a very important and common necessity, “submission.” Submission is not a popular word; however, Christians are not called to be politically correct, but to be spirit-filled and to submit to one another. “…submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Eph. 5:21).
Husband and Wife
If the husband is submitted to the Lord, and the wife is submitted to the Lord, they will have no problem submitting to one another. Ephesians 5:22-33 elaborates on the marriage relationship. Of this passage, only four verses are to wives and 9 verses are to husbands. Husbands have the greater responsibility! They are called to be the head of the wife. Paul’s teaching has nothing to do with superiority/inferiority. Anything with two heads is a freak and anything without a head is dead! More than authority, Paul is talking about responsibility. Husbands, lead your family. Lead by loving your wife, providing for her, putting her before yourself, kids, and work. Be a spiritual leader. Don’t be passive or absent.
Verse 33 says, “…let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” The home is built on love and respect. He submits by showing her love. She submits by showing him respect. Every man wonders if he has what it takes; every wife can convince her man that he does. Ladies, affirm your man. Be proud of his accomplishments, or at least his attempt to try. Submitting to your husband does not mean dominance. He is not Lord, but you submit because of the Lord, as a way of serving the Lord. A woman needs unconditional love. A man needs unconditional respect. You get what you want by giving what the other one needs.
Parent and Child
In chapter 6, Paul talks about the relationship between a parent and child. Children are told to obey and honor their parents. Obedience has to do with actions and is temporary. Honor is an attitude and is lasting. Parents are told to bring their children up “in the training and admonition of the Lord” (v. 4). Some parents are too authoritarian and do not exercise love. Others are too permissive and do not exercise discipline. Tammy and I are not perfect! A couple tips we give are the ABC’s. First, have A– authority over their attitude and actions. Obedience is not optional. Start early. B– set boundaries for their behavior. The best example is livestock in a fence. In fenced land, they have everything they need and room to grow. Set limits, but give freedom within. C– enforce consequences with consistency.
Employer and Employee
In Ephesians 6:5-9, Paul shifts to talk about the employer/employee relationship. Twice in this passage he mentions the heart. He is in no way condoning what we in the Western world think of when we say “slavery.” Paul is referring to indentured servanthood, a voluntary contract that didn’t last for a lifetime and that was not based on race. These instructions Paul gives apply to employees and employers. This is what it looks like to be a Christian at work. God is your real boss. You don’t work for “them,” you work for “Him”. Never just do the minimum required. Get rid of a get by attitude. Always do your best.
How are you doing in your relationships at home? How are you doing in your family relationships? How are you doing in your work relationships? If you are struggling in these relationships it may be because the number one relationship in your life is not right. Submit to God today. Ask Jesus to take control of your life, home, family, and work.