iPromise Devotion 2.5.2016 Love and Marriage

ipromiseThis week’s iPromise Principle: Purpose is a promise you submit to not a proposal you submit.

Today’s iPromise Principle: God’s plan for marriage is beyond you. #followandfish

 

“…let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband”  Ephesians 5:33

Easier said than done, right!  Ephesians 5:33 is sound Biblical advice and its instruction is abundantly clear.  I am not sure it even needs a Biblical reference for it to be accepted as good advice.  So, today I suggest that everyone who is reading this practice “love” & “respect”…All day tomorrow, “love” & “respect”…Sunday when you wake up, guess what? Show “love” & “respect”.  What to do is clear, but how it’s done can seem complex.  In fact, the oneness of flesh in marriage is described in verse 32 as a “profound mystery.”

Our devotions this week have been rooted in the words of Jesus recorded in Mathew 4:19,  “Come, follow me…”  With a full desire to follow Jesus closely, read the Ephesians 5:33 passage in the context of the relationship that Paul was encouraging.

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. 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. 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, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

For all of the things that go against our nature in this passage, be open to these truths:

1)  The marriage union should reflect the union of Christ and the church.
2)  Unconditional love and submissive respect are a gift given not a demand met.
3)  Unity with another requires you to live beyond yourself.

As you reflect on Ephesians 5:27-33, think about Paul’s instruction at the beginning of the Chapter 5 on how to #followandfish.

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Ephesians 5:1

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