God's word in today's world

To stand second in the relationship line

Ephesians 5:21-33

Paul gives the Ephesians good advice. First, he identified and addressed all those wrong roads which they took so often. Now he focuses on marriage, the most important cornerstone of society. One that is taking a massive beating in our time. Paul knows how important it is to a healthy society and gives a quick and summarized marriage enrichment course – a few good proposals for those who are in a relationship.

We must know that every relationship hits a gravel road at one time or another and then it is not nice. At times a relationship is work, work, work. At times it’s not nice and we wish the relationship had never even started. That is very normal. Everybody comes to a dead end at one time or another and think it’s the end. But keep on hoping, because there is hope. Sometimes we have to make a few small changes with major results waiting around the corner.

All of us have made mistakes. Sometimes we make the wrong choices in marriage and often the results are thunder and lightning. Most battles can be avoided if we think of the other one first rather than ourselves. In marriage most fights are caused by the uprising of the ego. That is why Paul suggests: 21Out of respect for Christ, be courteously reverent to one another.

In marriage, actually in all relationships, the other person’s needs should be considered first. Ask with a sincere heart what is happening in the other person’s life. Ask what is lacking. Ask what you can do to make life better and go and do it. You will be surprised at the results.

Some time ago my wife shared a piece of hurt that she had had to deal with. And just like that, in the course of our ordinary conversation, I listened to her with compassion and encouraged her. After a few days she came to me and said how much it meant to her that I was carrying the burden with her. I was a bit surprised, because I had not realized that my rough and ready words could help bear her burden.

We must calm down and take one another into consideration. Listen to Tina’s good advice:

On 6 December my husband and I will have been married for 39 years. The older you grow, the more beautiful love becomes. You must work on your marriage from the start and people’s feelings should be taken into account. Every day must be approached as if you have just, or yesterday, got married, and make time for one another. We sit at the dinner table every day and chat about the things that happened that day and what have to be planned for tomorrow or even the coming week. Your life is nothing without love.

Simple advice, but it can make an enormous difference in your relationships. Try it. Do and say everything putting the other person’s needs first. See if it makes a difference. I suspect a flower will open somewhere.


How are your relationships doing?

How much energy is coming from your side?

Do you sometimes put the other one first?


Father, thank you for giving us friends and partners. Thank you for giving everyone a place. Please help us to focus more on others than on ourselves. Please help me to be the least, even though the other one deserves it least. Amen

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