Better Because of Community

Been on the road this week . . . drove down to LA, then San Diego and have been hanging out with my girls and their families . . . and sleeping really well at night, thanx to the grandsons. Quieter morning this morning, so just a quick thought from my morning’s reading.

. . . be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord.

(Ephesians 5:18b-22 ESV)

I can’t tell you how often when the subject has come around to “wives submit to your own husbands” (Eph. 5:22) that someone invariably brings up, “But hey, Ephesians 5:21 comes before that. So, shouldn’t the husband submit to his wife, as well?” And true enough. But to think of “submitting” as primarily a marriage thing is to think of it as too small a thing.

Isn’t the context for “submitting to one another” the same as “addressing one another” in songs of worship and thanksgiving? Yes, it is. And that sounds more like a church context than it does a marriage context. Is it a stretch to say that doing what we should be doing as part of a marriage is easier to do when we’re doing what we should be doing as part of the church? I don’t think so. I’m thinking everything is better when in the context of genuine, filled with the Spirit, Christian community.

In a sense, isn’t wives submitting to their own husbands (and husbands to their wives) an extension of every believer submitting to others within their church families? I’m thinkin’. And isn’t husbands loving their wives as Christ loved the church possible because they’ve already been practicing loving as Christ loved with their brothers and sisters in Christ? I’m thinkin’ that too. What we practice in the “one anothers” as the family of God should overflow into every other relationship. How we’re accustomed to treating others bought by the blood will impact how we treat others who are brought into our worlds. Marriage, work, neighbors, friends, and even foes — whatever the relationship, it is going to be better because of Christian community.

True? Should be, at least in theory.

And, seems to me, it can be.

By His grace. For His glory.

Hear my grandson stirring . . .

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