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Love in the Spirit


Ephesians 5:17–21 (CSB) So don’t be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit: 19 speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.

verse 21 submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.

The word “submit” that Paul is a military term, and in Greek it referred to a soldier submitting to an officer.

Therefore, when we’re facing any problem in marriage the first thing you look for at the base of it is, in some measure, self-centeredness and unwillingness to serve or minister to the other.

Fulfillment is on the far side of sustained unselfish service, not the near side.

One of the main factors that hides it from us is our own history of mistreatment.

“Woundedness” is made up of self doubt and guilt, resentment and disillusionment.

Woundedness makes us self-centered.

It is impossible to have a smooth running relationship with even one person, let alone two, always feeling that his or her desires should have preeminence because of all he or she has been through in life.

The Christian approach: We believe that, as badly wounded as persons may be, the resulting self-centeredness of the human heart was not caused by the mistreatment. It was only magnified and shaped by it.

2 Corinthians 5:15 (CSB) And he died for all so that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for the one who died for them and was raised.

The essence of sin, according to the Bible– living for ourselves, rather than for God and the people around us.

To love and live for God rather than ourselves and to love and put the needs of others ahead of our own, see Matthew 22:37-40.

Woundedness makes us minimize our own selfishness.

There at least two paths the take.

First, you could decide that your own woundedness is more primary than your own self centeredness and determine that unless your spouse sees the problems you have and takes care of you, it’s not gonna work out.

The alternative to this truce marriage is to determine to see your own selfishness as a fundamental problem and to treat it more seriously than you do your spouses.

Only you have complete access to your own selfishness, and only you have complete responsibility for it.

If two spouses each say, “I’m going to treat my self -centeredness as the main problem in the marriage,“ you have the prospect of a truly great marriage.

There is a conservative approach to marriage that emphasizes traditional gender roles. It says that the basic problem in the marriage is that both husband and wife need to submit to their God-given functions, which are that husbands need to be the head of the family, and wives need to submit to their husbands.

The problem is that an over emphasis could encourage selfishness, especially on the part of the husband.

There is a more secular approach to marriage that says that the real problem in marriage is that you have to get your spouse to recognize your potential and help you develop it.

Self realization is the goal.

The Christian principle that needs to be at work is Spirit generated selflessness–not thinking less of yourself or more of yourself but thinking of yourself less.

Those who stop concentrating on how unhappy they are find that their happiness is growing.

verse 21 “submitting to one another in the fear of Christ.”

Often the fear of the Lord is linked with great joy.

Proverbs 28:14a “Happy is the person who fears continuously…”

Psalm 130:4 “forgiveness comes from you therefore you are feared.“

Forgiveness and grace increase the fear of the Lord.

The true sense of the fear of the Lord in the old testament implies relationship.”

“Fear“ in the Bible means to be overwhelmed, to be controlled by something. to fear the Lord is to be overwhelmed with wonder before the greatness of God and his love.

Each of us comes to marriage with a messy inner being.

Only God can fill a God sized hole.

Being filled with the Spirit and the fear of the Lord are basically the same thing.

We love because he first loved us“ first John 4:19.

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