Daily encouragement

Video by

Stuart Poteet

Discipleship Pastor

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Ephesians 5:31-33

“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. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (NIV)

Behind the Scenes

I’ve been burned a few times when it comes to following my husband, particularly when it comes to outside sporty activities. There was the time he gave me a hybrid bike for Christmas and wanted me to try it out right away. Unfortunately, on the way back, I hit a patch of ice and fell and cried. Or the time we tried to go running together in a really big, wooded park in Texas, and he thought if we just kept making lefts we’d go in a big circle. Of course, the park wasn’t a square, and we ended up much further from home than I wanted to be. I'm not even allowed to tell the snowshoe on Mt. Baldy story.  

Obviously, my husband is not perfect, and, while he’s gotten me to follow him doing some crazy things, he’s always returned me safely home. I go out and do these crazy things to show my love and build our relationship. I chose to marry him because he is an excellent leader in the areas where it counts, and he loves me with a sacrificial love that is just a taste of the love Christ has for me. Because he wants to show me this in a tangible way, on our wedding day and on many of our anniversaries, he has washed my feet. A sacrificial love is a beautiful thing, and I am so blessed to have a spouse who is committed to following the example of Christ.

Make it Real

Throughout Chapter 5, we’ve seen Paul giving the Ephesian church many specific instructions on how to live. This chapter ends with a quote from Genesis about how God designed marriage. It’s a comparison between marriage and the relationship Christ has with his people, reminding usthat husbands and wives have different things they should focus on so their relationship can resemble how Jesus loves us.  

The plan from the beginning was for Christ to leave his glory in heaven, take on flesh, die in our place, and rise on the third day. Because of Christ’s work and all that He is – the head of the body, the leader of all believers, the one on whom we should pattern our lives – we submit to Christ as believers. In the same way, I respect my husband as the spiritual leader of our family.  

In our culture today, marriage is a relationship you choose. We are born into a family, but we choose a partner. However, as believers we know that Christ chose us first, making that relationship supersede all others. For those of us who are married, how we act in this intimate and sacred relationship is a way we get to model our submission to Christ.  

Ultimately, though, married or single, we should submit to Christ in everything. We trust him to lead us out of the boat, out of our comfort zone, out of isolation and darkness. In our relationships on this earth, even those we allow to lead us may give us reasons at times to question their leadership. Though I try not to, I do question my spouse’s leadership quite frequently, especially when he’s leading me up Mt. Baldy wearing snowshoes. After all, we are just humans doing our best to lead and love each other well. When we submit to Christ, though, we can do so with complete confidence, knowing that he will never lead us astray.  

In light of his faithful, perfect love for us, we love with the sacrificial love of Christ. An important question to consider today is: How can I be more Christlike in my relationships? Am I submitting to the authority of Christ in order to be like him with those I love? Christ’s leadership is perfect, so we can follow his perfect example in all things.

End in Prayer

Creator God, we praise you as the One who made man and woman in your image. Help us to love with the sacrificial love of Christ. Whether we are loving a spouse, child or best friend, may we have the heart of Jesus toward those you have entrusted to our care. We are all one body in you, Lord. Forgive us when we are too focused on ourselves to love the Church as you modeled and intended. We ask these things in the powerful name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Written by

Katie Townley

ACF Devo Team