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Day 4 Day 5 Volume 2 Number 14

The Spirit of God follows us to our homes, and


teaches us how to live to the glory of God. ‘Each individual
among you’ - Paul addresses every husband individually
The Husband is commanded to love like
Christ loves. The wife is commanded to respect like
ENGAGED
without naming him as such and encourages (actually he
the church does. Respect is the Greek word April 3 - 9
commands - present imperative - as our habitual, ‘Phobeo’. The idea of Phobeo here is to have a
continuous practice) each to go on loving his wife as his profound measure of respect for one's husband. Note
very self. Her response is not a factor in our love. the present tense calls for continuous respect, which
Remember husbands, what God commands, He always will surely be her response when she is sacrificially,
enables. We can't love our wives in our strength, but only unconditionally loved by her husband. It is easy to
in the grace and power supplied by the indwelling Spirit. respect the Lord when you feel His love and grace. It
Try to love your wife to the point of being willing to die for is easier to love a husband when he shows
her and see how far you get in your own strength. Not unconditional love. However, wives are commanded
merely as you might love yourself, but in recognition of the
to respect their husbands even without receiving from
fact that she is one with you. ‘Love’ describes the love God
gives freely, sacrificially and unconditionally regardless of them the unconditional love they deserve. In other
response. It also speaks especially of love, as based on words, we love and respect in marriage out of our
evaluation and choice, a matter of will and action. This love obedience and desire for Christ. Does your marriage
is not sentimental or emotional but obedient and reflective cause you to love and respect Jesus more? It
of the act of one's will with the ultimate desire being for should…
another's highest good. Since it is unconditional, this love
is still given, even if it's not received/returned! Agape love
gives and gives and gives. It is not withheld. Speaking to
faithless Israel, God speaks of coming days of restoration, Ephesians 5:32-33
declaring..."I have loved you with an everlasting love; “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning
Therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness. Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each
(Jeremiah 31:3) Today’s is a difficult question to answer one of you in particular so love his own wife as
In Romans, Paul explains that even while we were
truthfully, but you must if you are going to live out himself, and let the wife see that she respects
helpless and ungodly, Christ died for the ungodly, adding...
these verses. Are you the “difficult” person in the her husband.”
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that
while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8) relationship? Don’t make excuses at this point. If
John writes...In this is love, not that we loved God, but that you are, own up to it, ask Christ to change you, and
He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our make every effort to do what Paul says in Romans
sins. (1John 4:10) Can you truly call what you feel for your 12:18, “If it be possible, as much as it lieth in you, live
spouse, as Agape Love? peaceably with all men”.
through
Pick someone out from your list of difficult
relationships today, and make an effort to do three things for
them. Number one, pray God’s best for them (not that He will
rain down fire from heaven, but truly bless them). Number
two, make an effort to say kind words to them; not a platitude,
such as “have a nice day”, but a true compliment or kindness.
Number three, do something for them without them knowing What is clearest to me is the way Christ treats
you did it. Your attitude must be like Christ’s attitude. These
three things are what God the Trinity did, and does, for you. the church. And this provides a good picture of how
Do likewise for them. each husband is to treat his wife, loving himself in
loving her, and how each wife is to honor her
Many readers have struggled with the advice Paul husband. (The Message)
gives in this chapter. Verse 21 sets the tone for all that
follows: we are to submit to others because of our reverence
for Christ. In other words, in any human relationship –
husband and wife, child and parent – a third party is involved,
Christ himself. Paul urges us to conduct those relationships in
light of Christ’s own spirit. As a family, go back and read and
discuss verses 21 – 33.
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
‘This mystery is great’ - As a wife is to The Greek word for ‘mystery’ is Musterion. In Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the history
her husband, the church is to Christ. Marriage is Scripture it takes on an important role. It means it of Eden is very true and actually occurred. However,
a reflection of the mystery of union between was something previously hidden by the purpose of that scene in Eden is also a parable. Let me explain. It
Christ and His church. It was a concept that was God which when uncovered is understood by the was not good for Christ to be alone. He needed one to
completely unknown until the New Testament Spirit-taught Believer (only by the Spirit-taught love and to give love. But there was none among
revealed it. So by your marriage, you are either Heaven that could answer to Him. Therefore, God the
Believer). Even when taught to unbelievers, they
a symbol or a denial of Christ and His church. Father sought a bride for His Son. God’s purpose
cannot understand God’s mysteries. In other words, caused a deep sleep to fall upon the second Adam,
With that as his clue, Paul unfolds the meaning of Musterion signifies those truths, which are part of Jesus. (I Cor 15:47 – The first man was of the earth,
marriage: it’s a symbol of Christ’s love for the God's plan and can only be understood as He made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from
church represented in the husband’s loving reveals them by His Spirit through His Word. Why do heaven). In Christ’s ‘sleep’ (death) the bride (church)
headship toward his wife; and it’s a symbol of the you think that most marriages struggle? Not only was born from His side. Redeemed men compose
church’s glad submission to Christ represented in marriages of unbelievers, but also those who claim that bride. The Savior loves them, as a true man, who
the wife’s relation to her husband. He calls Gen the name of Christ? Why do you think we for the first time loves a pure and noble woman. He
2:24 a “mystery” because God did not reveal misunderstand the mystery that has been revealed? does not love them because they are fair, but to make
clearly all His purposes for the marriage of male them so. By His blood, Word and Spirit, He is
and female in Genesis. There were hints and sanctifying and purifying them for Himself. The process
is long and severe, but He nourishes and cherishes
pointers in the Old Testament that marriage was
His bride. He will present her to Himself, without spot
like the relation of God and His people (ie, or wrinkle or any such thing; bearing His name,
Hosea). Only when Christ came, did the mystery sharing His rank, position, wealth, power and glory
of marriage get spelled out in detail. It is meant to forever and ever.
be a portrait of Christ’s covenant with His people, Then the Church shall cleave to Him forever, and He
His commitment to the church. So marriage is shall cleave to her. They shall be one spirit. And His
like a metaphor or an image or a picture or I mentioned yesterday that God intentionally own prayer shall be realized, "The glory which Thou
parable that stands for something more than a puts us into relationships that test our patience, our hast given Me, I have given unto them; that they may
man and a woman becoming one flesh. It stands restraint and “sermon-on-the-mountness”. If God be one, even as We are one." Wow, we are indeed
intentionally placed these relationships in your path, fulfilling the story of Christ to the world? Take a
for the relationship between Christ and the
moment and spend time thanking God for allowing Him
church. That’s the deepest meaning of marriage. what is it that He is trying to teach you and mold into
to be a part of His story, repenting over any failure and
It’s meant to be a living drama of how Christ and your life? asking for strength to be a better ‘story’ teller.
the church relate to each other. How have you or
do you plan to tell His story through your
marriage? Can you really love those who hate you? Is
it really possible? Does God really expect you not
to reject this kind of one-way relationship? Take a
We all want our relationships to be with moment to read beyond verse 43, to the
people whom we love, and who love us. We all explanation of why Jesus calls us to this. It
want to spend time with those who enjoy the becomes obvious that, if we are to be God’s
mutual companionship. But the truth is, children, then we MUST go through these kinds of
circumstances, necessity and expectation, relationships. It is necessary if we are to be shaped
require us to relate to those with whom we clash. Through Christ we can live lives of Grace into the likeness of Christ. So embrace those
It is reality. It is life. It is what God expects us to rather than lives of Grievance. Submission should difficult people (even if not literally, at least
do. It is what God intentionally brings to us. So not, however, mean participating in sinful behavior. figuratively!), and learn to be like Jesus, who
today, begin to learn to relate with a Christ-like Discuss with your family the difference between embraces you.
heart, to the difficult people. Grace and Grievance?
Paul’s last visit is to the home where he
uses marriage as a picture of the relationship
between Christ and the church. Christ loved us
Righteous living, for men or women,
and died for us, but today He loves us and cares
Testifies to the Power and Grace of God at
for us. This intimate life is pictured in the Song of
work in their lives. As a family, discuss the
Solomon and can be a reality for all who will yield
meaning of Righteous living?