The Laboratories of God
Monday Morning Commentary
How does God shape us into the people he desires for us to be? God forms us into his image in the variety of relationships we have with one another. Yesterday, Pastor Craig guided us through the last chapters of Ephesians so that we could observe God’s design for the different relational laboratories of our life: marriage, children and parents, and work.
1. Marriage (Ephesians 5:22-32)
In marriage, there are clear roles for husband and wife to play biblically. In the kingdom of God, differing roles do not signify differing worth. Roles simply define how God desires us to display who he is in our relationships. God desires husbands to reflect how Christ leads the church by taking the lead in providing, spiritual leadership, sacrifice, and romance. God’s desire is for wives to reflect how the church submits to Christ by following his spiritual direction.
Just as Christ bears the weight in his relationship with us- husbands bear the weight in their relationships with their wives. A healthy biblical marriage is the furthest thing from abusive or archaic. It is one of the most compelling pictures of Christ on earth with both husband and wife fulfilled in all they were created to be. The man flourishes in spiritual leadership. The woman flourishes in the protection of her husband. Both husband and wife love and empower each other to be all of who God made them to be.
2. Children and Parents (Ephesians 6:1-4)
The parent-child relationship is a picture of how God relates to all of us as his children. Children learn how to relate to God through the interaction they have with their parents. Biblical discipline is not about control but learning obedience for the purity of our hearts. Parental discipline at its best teaches us how to relate in a loving way to one another. The issue with disobedient children is not that they simply won’t do what the parent has asked. The issue is that disobedience creates a rebellious selfish heart towards others and ultimately God.
How do we act towards our parents as adults? The ultimate command is to honor our father and mother not obey their every word. Obedience to our parents is always for the purpose of being aligned with God not against God. If there is ever a command that is against God’s word or what he has revealed to us, we are to put God’s command first. As adults regardless of differences we may have with our parents we can honor them by calling them, being open to their input in our lives, saying thank you, and making caring for them in their old age a priority.
3. Work (Ephesians 6:5-9)
All of us have some work context. Even if we are not employed, most of us are students or serve in some capacity. Our role as workers is to bless the one we are working for as if we are working for God himself- because we are. We are free to use work as a way to bless the world because as God’s children he has promised to provide for us. Work is our place to express who he is in the world and as such we are to display a cheerful disposition, a commitment to excellence, and an attitude of servanthood.
This week take a look at the laboratories of your life. What is God doing in each of them? How is he speaking? Are you displaying God’s character in the way he desires in each of the given contexts? As we follow Christ, there is always room to grow! It’s never too late to align ourselves with God’s word and find fulfillment by stepping into his purposes for every area of life.