October 29 – Prison Letters – Christian Relationships

Read Ephesians 5:21-6:10

Your relationship to Christ has bearing upon your human relationships.  Well, I should say that God has designed that Jesus followers relate to others differently than the mainstream of people.  Whether or not that really happens requires our submissive response to God’s plan.

This portion of Scripture, often referred to as Paul’s “household code,” makes that clear.  It speaks to three of the most fundamental relationships that many people experience in life: husband/wife, parent/child, and supervisor/employee.  Did you notice the specifics of what God desires in each?

The husband/wife relationship is to be characterized by love and respect (v. 33).  His love for her is to be unconditional and sacrificial like the love that Christ demonstrated towards the church.  Her respect for him is to be honoring and sincere.  If you are married, God has specific plans for how you relate to your spouse!

The parent/child relationship is to be characterized by discipline, honor, and obedience.  Fathers are especially invited to give godly instruction to their children without exasperating them.  Small children are to obey the directives of their parents, while older children are to always honor their mother and father.  There are no exceptions here.  Each of us has or has had parents.  Many are parents.  God’s instruction is important.

The supervisor/employee relationship is to be characterized by honor and respect.  The supervisor is to treat the employee with justice and fairness.  Meanwhile, the employee is to respectfully serve the Lord by serving the supervisor.  If you find yourself in one of those roles, God has a specific plan for you!

Those of us who are followers of Jesus cannot somehow compartmentalize our relationship with God, separating it from other human relationships.  God’s will is that the impact of our faith in Him will overflow into the way we interact with those around us.  Christian marriages should be stronger.  Christian families should be more unified with family members who are sensitive to each other.  In the workplace, the Christian will stand out as a caring, diligent worker.  Are those statements descriptive of you?

Steve Kern

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