Relationship Instructions – October 12, 2021
Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Devotion based on Ephesians 5:21
See series: Devotions
According to one internet survey, the BILLY/OXBERG bookcase and the PAX wardrobe are the two pieces of IKEA furniture that are the most complicated to assemble. Customers complained that the directions were too complex. Numerous reviewers fussed about having leftover pieces and the assembly process taking five hours or more.
Some things you can take out of the box and build without even looking at the instructions. Not the BILLY/OXBERG bookcase or the PAX wardrobe. You want to follow the instructions.
The same is true when people enter into friendships. There are some basic instructions you want to follow for the friendship to be successful. Be kind to one another. Treat each other with respect. Be honest. Those are valuable instructions when it comes to all human interactions and relationships.
Honesty, kindness, and respect are particularly valuable in marriages. God doesn’t give spouses a 400-page document of dos and don’ts, but he does give a very basic directive: Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
The natural tendency for human beings is to look out for self, to serve self. In other words, ME FIRST! God reminds us that a different mindset is what makes marriages and relationships work. Not me first but my spouse first. When spouses submit to one another, they are saying, “I want your needs to be met before mine. I want your happiness and your goals to come before mine.” Submitting to one another looks less like a tug-of-war contest and more like a gift-giving contest (if such a thing existed).
And if we’re looking for a role model, we need look no further than Jesus. And, if we’re looking for a boost to help us do less taking and more giving, we need look no further than Jesus. The patience, love, and forgiveness he shares with us are all the motivation we need. The way he put our needs ahead of his own and the way he sacrificed his life to save ours is the boost we need to keep sharply focused on a Christ-like mindset—not me first, but others first.
Lord Jesus, your deep love for me enables me to love others. Whether I am single or married, young or old, help me to think, to love, and to act more and more like you. Amen.