Easier because knowing that my life is always about Christ helps to make sense of it.
The Apostle commanded us to be continually filled with the Spirit. Then he shows us how the Spirit is demonstrated in our lives with our relationships, within Church community, marriages, parent/child and master/slaves. The latter ones which we are yet to discover.
The motivation to be the best I can be in any one of those settings isn’t enough if I just want to be a model citizen. However, knowing it is about my discipleship and about the place I give Christ in my life is the reason I keep trying. Does that mean I don’t love people and it is just a life of obedience shackled to my responsibilities? Of course not. But I do find it easier when Christ is the centre of my life.
Let’s read a section we have been discovering over the last several days and focus on where I have underlined: It’s from chapter 5 v18-32.
Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
If this is just a household code by Paul then we may well be right to react and kick back against it. As he continues to talk about the relationships of parent/child and master/slave, we may wonder how much is cultural, what do the instructions really mean, how do we interpret submission for example?
But it is easier if we see everything in our life is about Christ. We are either a mirror of Him or we are demonstrating through our relationships His beauty towards us.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. Ephesians 5 v31-32
For this reason, a man will leave his parents in a switching of loyalty, he will cleave, glue himself in a uniting way to his wife so that they become one person not two individual separate beings. It is profound, a mystery, a creation mandate hidden in Christ to be discovered. But it is a mirror for I am talking about the relationship between Christ and the Church.
Does that mean I have to stay if I am abused? To suggest it is an anathema to me.
Does that mean I only do my part if others are seeing Christ in the same way? If your friend/partner/spouse etc are not following Christ then all the more reason to do your part.
Does that mean I have to keep working at my relationships? Yes it is a discipleship journey.
Make it about Christ and there is no fight. Well, not with each other anyway.