A Strong and Vibrant Relationship
I.ve used this story many times, let’s be clear about that. Why wouldn’t I use it? It’s a great story, and it has the added bonus of being true!
Once upon a time I was teaching a class, and the class was about Ephesians. When we came to chapter 5, the part about husbands and wives, I read the verses (5:22-31) then I pointed out how the wife and husband had an equal partnership in the scenario Paul set out, and then we had a class discussion about what it takes to have a strong marriage relationship. It was a wonderful class discussion, and it resulted in quite a list of things that are important to have a strong marriage, some of things that were mentioned are…
- Husbands and wives must take time to be together.
- They must always be honest and open about everything.
- Talking together; husbands and wives must take the time to talk about things together.
- There cannot be any secrets from each other.
- They must put God first in their lives.
- They must always work together towards a common purpose.
- They must love one another.
- They must cherish each other.
- There must be intimacy in every aspect of their relationship together.
- They must put each other first above everyone else.
There were plenty of other things mentioned, but I think you can get the drift of how the conversation went. Then I read the next verse, Ephesians 5:32:
This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
The was silence in the room.
Then I said that we had put together a very good list of ways to build a strong marriage and we can probably all see one or more areas in which we can do a better job as a marriage partner. Yet Paul was using marriage to illustrate the relationship between the church and our Lord. Do we put the same kind of effort into our relationship with Him as individuals? As a church? Would it even occur to anyone that our relationship with Christ should be as honest, open and intimate as in the perfect marriage?
Of course, a church family really cannot really be Christ’s “Bride” until its members have attained a mature and intimate relationship with Christ individually, and precious few of us ever get that far, perhaps because we don’t understand how that could even be possible. We tend to think in more analytical, academic and philosophical terms and while there is nothing wrong with any of that, it does tend to get in the way of simple, innocent trust, and without trust, there can never be true intimacy, whether between friends, or spouses or between people and God.
I wonder: Could that be why Jesus said we must become like little children?
At any rate, I’m thinking that maybe we should study this some more, to look into the possibilities. Tomorrow I’ll post one last time on our Martian adventure, and after that let’s examine intimacy with God and see what discoveries we will make in our life’s adventure following Jesus