Disclaimer: Opinions expressed by website attributed with the photo credit are their own, FSS does neither claim to advocate or disagree with them explicitly.
Whether you are the mouth, brain, arm, leg, or heart – as Christians we are part of the body and bride of Jesus Christ. Here on earth we can see a microscopic parallel to this relationship in good, Godly marriages. The types of marriages that lift each other up with their words and actions. They know that doing and saying good things to their lifelong partners is a blessing. Not only is it a blessing to their partner, but also a blessing to themselves. In a broader sense we also bless one another as God’s family when we show the same courtesy to our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own 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 the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,[a] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[b] 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
Ephesians 5:25-33 (NKJV).
If we were to be overly critical of our wives or vice versa, we can be sure that we are also being detrimental to ourselves. We often take for granted what our closest loved ones feel when we take haphazard actions or responses to life’s unexpected turn of events. I suppose it’s pretty easy to get along when things are going smoothly, but what about when the storms of life arrive? We also tend to be very comfortable with how we comport ourselves with our close family and friends. Sometimes to the point where in arguments we can slip and say things we don’t really mean. Things that can cause a strain on the relationship, and that we’d be better off keeping to ourselves. That’s why, while I can’t always claim to have done it in my past experience, it’s prudent to let the emotionally charged situations wind down before saying something you might regret. Even if the statement is true, we can find a way to deliver it less bluntly and with more finesse.
If we could only exercise discretion at the point where we least want to, we can avoid inflicting a lot of unnecessary pain to the people in our lives. In the long term we will be thankful for having avoided crossing that line. It’s one of the rewards for self-control in these points of conflict. Just as these scenarios happen often in romantic relationships, they also happen among brothers and sisters in Christ in the Church. Have you seen any biologically related brothers and sisters avoid fighting their whole lives? I am an only child, so while my viewpoint on this is limited to observation, I can’t imagine a brother and sister who have not had their fair share of altercations. Since they’re related by blood, I can actually imagine them being less reserved about sharing their point of view. I would bet this occurs quite often before they mature and reach adulthood. This maturity ideally leads them to a point where the minor issues don’t cause a big stir up, but from time to time some more significant disagreements may still appear regarding some other critical areas of disagreement.
I am not trying to advocate never arguing. I think that might be close to impossible for the vast majority or all of us, including us believers. What I do suggest is that we learn from our successes and mistakes in the battlefield. This especially rings true when it comes to our marriages, which are a place where based on Ephesians 5, we can see the standard for a Christian marriage is a high calling. Just like teaching God’s Word is a calling that should be taken seriously, as teachers of the Word are held to a higher standard. I would say the people of God who get married are also called to love their partners to the best of their abilities and beyond with God’s help.
Also noteworthy is, whether we get married here on earth or not, is not of supreme consequence in the eternal scope of things. We are all still going to be part of that ultimate marriage with Jesus Christ. I am hopeful that if I do get married before I die or the rapture comes along, that it is God’s desire for me. I don’t want to get married unless God approves of it. I want him to choose my bride, and I want our relationship to draw us each respectively nearer to Jesus Christ and His will for us. If you’re not going to bring God more glory together with your husband or wife, what’s the point of getting married? If I truly brought God more glory alone, I would rather remain alone, as hard as that prospect sounds to me right now. I want to maximize my EROI (Eternal Return On Investment). God invested a lot in me, and He has blessed me with many talents, gifts, and resources. I am responsible to be a good steward of it all, like the parable of the talents reflects rather clearly. I don’t want to be the servant who buries their 1 talent in the ground. I want to be a servant who invests them wisely and seeks counsel before making any rash decisions. Counsel from God in prayer, and when appropriate counsel from family and friends as well.
14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them. 15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey. 16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents. 17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also. 18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.
20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’ 21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’ 22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’ 23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’
26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed. 27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest. 28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.
29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
Matthew 25:14-30 (NKJV).
While I know that our salvation is by grace, through faith, in Jesus Christ alone – those of us who are saved still ought to show the Fruits of the Spirit in our lives. If we’re not showing fruit, working on repenting, or repented of all habitual sin, and obeying God’s commands – we should examine ourselves closely. I am not saying you need to be perfect, if we did none of us would get to Heaven. My point is that based on the grace God has generously lavished upon us through salvation, among many other beautiful and numerous promises, we should be thrilled to glorify God in our lives, actions, and words. People should be able to point us out and think, “You see <insert your name here>, they’ve got something special going on.” “I am impressed with how they handle failure. How do they keep their heads up in the midst of the storm they’re going through?” “What is it about them that seems to shine no matter whether it’s a good or bad day for them?” Then if we’re asked these questions or similar, that we may be bold enough to share the message of the Gospel. When people find out we’re believers, and we behave in ways that the Fruits of the Spirit advocate, we’re being good stewards of our calling. Being an ambassador of Jesus Christ is no light calling, so let’s go all in for the glory of God in all areas.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23 (NKJV).