“Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.”… “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.” – Ephesians 5:21, 31
This next statement really got my attention: Every single day of the year in America, more than 3,500 marriages end in divorce. More than 50 percent of the children in America’s public schools live in single-parent homes. Of the nation’s children who live apart from their biological fathers, 50 percent have never set foot in their father’s home. (1)
Sometimes, when I’m performing a wedding ceremony and we are reciting the vow “till death do us part,” I realize that, in reality, the marriage outlook is more often, “Till death … or until we get tired of each other, do us part.” What has changed that has made divorce an okay outlet?
Is it our advancement in technology? Or our lack of communication? The answer to this selfish, ‘me-first’ mentality is found in our verse today from Ephesians. “Be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”
What does it mean to be subject to? Well, “be subject to” is an old military term in the Greek. It means to rank under; it means someone has authority over another. God’s solution to the ‘me-first’ focus is found in this rather militaristic phrase. How so? By both the husband and the wife putting each other first. It means concentrating on the needs of the family rather than the urges of the individual. After all, that’s what you signed up for when you promised before God, “till death do us part.”
Are you and your spouse struggling right now? With so much spinning out of our control, maybe it’s time to refocus on the One who IS in control. Carve out some time this week to reconnect with one another. Listen, apologize, and pray. And ask God to help you re-position Christ as the center of your marriage, and for the strength to face today, together.
(1) SBC Life “Kingdom Families.”