Read: Ephesians 5:21–6:9
“. . . submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (5:21)
In her Nobel Peace Prize lecture, Mother Teresa answered the question of how we achieve world peace by explaining that “love begins at home . . . in our own family first, in our country and in the world.”
Love begins not just at home, but in all our everyday relationships—between husbands and wives, parents and children, employers and employees, and friends. All the ordinary places we live, work, and play. The key to understanding Paul’s “household” instructions is verse 21: “submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.”
In all of our relationships, Paul calls for submitting to one another, modeled after Christ’s own example. “Submission . . . is the ability to lay down the terrible burden of always needing to get our way,” writes Richard Foster. It’s the way of the cross, looking to the needs of others and taking the posture of a servant. Paul insists that when we live a “cross-shaped life,” then we’re really serving and honoring Christ.
Our everyday relationships provide a crucible where the resilient life is forged. We learn resilience in the small and quiet acts of dying to self, taking up the basin and towel, and serving others. Resilience is not about achieving big, extraordinary things for God; it’s about living an ordinary life in a beautiful way, loving others as Christ has loved us. —Brian Keepers
As you pray, ask God to help you let go of the need to get your way in your closest relationships today and to love like Jesus.
About the Author
The Rev. Dr. Brian Keepers is the lead pastor of Trinity Reformed Church in Orange City, IA. He has served as an ordained pastor in the Reformed Church in America for twenty years, and received his D.Min from Western Theological Seminary (Holland, MI). Brian is married and has two daughters and one granddaughter.