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Ephesians 5:21-6:9

Jesus, be the Lord over ALL my life.

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“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (5:21)

The relationships we humans have with one another seem to be really important to You, Lord–how we get along, how we communicate. Well, if we’re the means You’ve chosen to spread Your gospel, to bring others to You, then no wonder You give so much direction in how to relate to one another.

Here in this portion of Your “love letter” to me (well, ok, to all Your children ;-), You first sum up Your desire for our relationships by commanding us to “submit to one another.”  Then, You break that down into various kinds of relationships: marital, parental, and vocational.  In each one of these, You refer back to Yourself in some way, how each relationship noted reflects a relationship with You. …hmmm, interesting … 🙂   e.g. “as to the Lord” (5:22), “just as Christ loved the church…” (5:25), “in the Lord” (6:1), “training and instruction of the Lord” (6:4), “just as You would obey Christ” (6:5), “like slaves of Christ, doing the will of God…” (6:6), “as if serving the Lord” (6:7), “the Lord will reward everyone” (6:7), and “He who is both their Master and yours is in heaven…” (6:9).

The verbs You use intrigue me, Lord.  For those whom You view as being under another’s authority or supervision, You call them to “submit” or “obey.”  Each can recognize that the one to whom they submit, be it husband, parent or master (employer), is under YOUR authority and supervision.  They yield to one who must yield to You.  For those who are in roles of authority (granted by You), You use the terms “love,” “bring them up,” and “treat.”  You describe a sacrificial, selfless love that is to reflect Christ’s love for the Church (525-33).  You describe a supportive training role that’s not to aggravate the ones being trained, that takes into consideration the feelings of and the effect on the one who is learning (6:4).  You describe a fairness in supervision by which the overseer realizes that You are the ultimate one in authority (6:9).  You grant the authority, but You temper it and give boundaries to it by holding accountable the one who received it.

Your statement used to open this segment, “submit to one another out of reverence for Christ,” sets the tone for those relationship actions You spell out. No human role may lord it over another; You’ve designed us differently.  You are in all, through all, and overall–including our relationships.  At least that’s Your plan.

Father, help me to follow Your plan, Your will, for my relationships.  Point out to me the actions, thoughts, or words that I allow into those interactions which are not in line with Your will.  Help me to change.  I desire for You to remain my First love.  And when I choose to give YOU preeminence in my life, my affections, my security, then the people in my life will know it; they’ll experience a different way of relating with me.  In the roles You’ve given me in which I’m called to submit, help me to do so “as to the Lord” and to obey “as if serving the Lord.”  In the roles You set me in which give me some authoritative roles, guide me in leading in love, patience, encouragement and fairness.

Thanks, Lord, for being so vitally involved in my life and my relationships.  May I bring honor and glory to You.  Keep making me just like Jesus as You use me to touch others.

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