When you hold your marriage up to a mirror what do you see? What should you see?
The image I pray to see is that of the image of Christ and his relationship to the church. He set the example for us to follow. Unselfish sacrificial love and devotion is the height of the bar.
The book of Ephesians in chapter 5 puts it in God's words. Some of the words your about to read have fueled our culture to become quite upset. Sometimes the truth is hard to take, but it's still the truth.
Here we go. Eph 5: 22-24 "Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything."
What proceeds verse 22 in 21 is this; "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."
Ok, husbands pay attention. God has a command for us. Eph 5:25-27 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless."
So who do we fear? Well I think this is an easy answer in the culture we live in today. We all fear man more than we fear God. This week I met a man who has had a struggle with pornography for years. He has had some recovery but never total freedom from this addition.
But recently he has decided to live in a “fear relationship” with God. He doesn’t mean the fear that we all think of where the God of heaven is looking down and pointing a finger. He is talking about the fear where we understand that we are in His presence and have reverence for His glory. Remember when Moses met God at the burning bush? He was in awe of His glory and when he came down with the Commandments his face glowed—and he never even saw God face to face!
My point is that we need to fear God in a good way. He loves us and will only extend love when we put Him in a place of honor and respect. Today we say we fear God but in reality we have more fear for what people think of us. Most of us hide our secrets from each other and we confess them to God but nothing changes because we have not fully surrendered our sin. We continue to live in shame, guilt and fear that we will be viewed less than perfect so we don’t expose our sin.
This last week I was at a men’s group where we discussed the struggle with pornography openly. It was a very open discussion about the struggles each of us face in the culture today as it pertains to lust and pornography. One of the men stayed after and spoke with the leader about his struggle. They prayed and sought God on this issue. The man began to see the hold this sin had on this life. So he was bold enough to start the conversation towards his freedom. He overcame the fear of man and trusted God that He would be there for him.
Your struggle may be pornography or it may be something else that is holding you from true intimacy with Christ. One of the first steps we need to take is to ask ourselves the question, whom do we fear? Do we fear God in a way that we hide like Adam and Eve or do we come to God and face our sin like David did so often?
These are important issues that we need to face. Living a transparent life first starts with determining who are we master to, God or Man? Who do we submit to, God or Man? My thoughts are we need to be less concerned about man’s perception of us than we are about God’s view of us. When we come clean with Him, there is a freedom that comes only through the Holy Spirit.
So who are you going to FEAR?