Have you ever had a more beautiful, fulfilling, and harmonious love relationship than you do with your spouse? You never fight, bicker, argue, raise your voice, or demand your way. It’s always peaceful, always fun, and never insensitive.
What about your kids? Your kids have always done as they’re told. They’ve played well together, took turns, and even done their chores without being asked. What about those times that your kids have come home and said that school was fun and they wished they could do more homework? It’s great having kids. They make life so much easier.
Let’s not stop their isn’t great having a boss - someone that never tells you what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. Someone that never looks over your shoulder or micromanages what you do. That is such a blessing. Bosses are major perks.
If only…the truth is that relationships are hard. Our relationships are where the wars of eternal life and death are fought. There is not a day that goes by that we are not tempted to be selfish, conniving, or rude. So how do we fight these temptations?
Ephesians 5 and 6 deal with this dilemma and give clear biblical perspective on how Christ has made a way for us to live in victory. Lets evaluate what God says about relationships that thrive.
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 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. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
The relationship that a Christian wife has with her Christian husband is comparable to the relationship that the Church has with Christ. The Church trusts, listens, follows, and serves Christ. People that look at the Church see Christ. Why, because the Church loves Christ. If this is true, then a wife trusts, listens, follows, and serves her husband. People that look at the wife should see her husband. Why, because she love him. Is this indicative of your relationship? (Ephesians 5:22-24)
25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body.
The relationship that a Christian husband has with his Christian wife is comparable to the relationship that Christ has with the Church. Christ cares for, helps, nurtures, guides, and even dies for the Church. People that look at Christ see ultimate sacrifice for his Church. Why, because Christ loves the Church. If this is true, then a husband cares for, helps, nurtures, guides, and even dies for his wife. People that look at the husband see ultimate sacrifice for his wife. Why, because he loves her. Is this indicative of your relationship? (Ephesians 5:25-29)
31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself,
The bond found in a Christian marriage is a picture of the relationship between Christ and the Church. Both represent oneness that signifies perfect harmony. Would you say your marriage is harmonious or a sower chord? (Ephesians 5:31-33)
Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Obedient children can only be obedient when the Lord is their motivator. Children can only recognize the Lord as their motivator through the discipline and instruction of a father, mother, or parental figure’s Spirit controlled guidance. Do your children demonstrate obedience? Do you express the calm strength found in the disciplines of the Lord? (Ephesians 6:1-4)
5 Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.
The employee and the employer are held to the same standard. Your service is for the Lord. Not for a paycheck, not for recognition, not for a promotion, or even the pride of doing a good job – it is simply services rendered for the Lord. Why, because we love him. Can loving God be enough reason for you to do your very best at work? (Ephesians 6:5-9)
Christ should be the life source for every believer. The thoughts, words, actions, and motivations behind everything that we do should come from a deep awareness of what Christ has saved us from and saved us to. Relationships that thrive are found solely in the arms of Jesus.
What part of your heart is God asking to work on today?
What can God do in you to cultivate relationships that thrive?