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Grace-based relationships and parenting

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Key text: Ephesians 5:22-25

By Pr Ben Odong

As Christians, our lives are built on relationships. Thus, it is important we understand relationships as revealed in the Word of God. You cannot love until you have seen Christ.

The way you love your wife or submit to you husband will determine how you understood and submitted to Christ. A man who has not seen Christ can not reflect Christ in his marriage because God’s love to us is reflected through Christ.

He commands us to love one another as He loved us. The Bible tell us to submit to one another in the fear of the Lord.
So if you are already a submissive person in your Christian life, applying such principles in your marriage does not require extra effort.

It is just that this particular instruction which you are applying is specifically directed towards the object of your love –your wife, husband or somebody else in your home.

Applying Agape love

Remember the love of God (Agape) as described in 1Corinthians 13 means to esteem others more than yourself.
The love of God is wisdom in all relationships. Remember the wisdom of God is different from the wisdom of this world.
When I am loving the way Christ loves me, I am operating in wisdom. Remember love never fails.

When you operate in the wisdom of God in your relationship, you will never fail. God’s love is wisdom in all human relationships.
You forgive one another as Christ has forgiven you. We don’t forgive one another because they are behaving well, but because Christ has forgiven us. Christ forgave us while we were not even thinking of repenting.

God commended His love in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. We forgive because we are forgiven; we love because we are loved.
So a man who has not understood the love of God cannot offer the love of God, especially to his family.

Christ in our marriages

Your ability to see Jesus will reflect in your relationships. There is a difference between marriage relationship in the Old Testament and marriage relationship in the New Testament.

That is why Jesus said that Moses, under the law, permitted you to give your wives a certificate of divorce because of adultery.
But in the beginning it was not so. Meaning that fornication and adultery were not grounds for divorce; they are not enough to bring about separation.

Even in the Epistles no Apostle talked about adultery and fornication as basis for divorce.
From the beginning, He said, whatever God has joined together let no man put asunder (Matthew 19:4-6).

Raising children

1Timothy 5:8 tells us: “But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

In this text, the word ‘provide’ is unlimited. Don’t think of getting married and having children if you are not planning on making yourself available for them. You must support for your children.
Pray for and with them, take them to school, bring them back, stay with them, do assignments with them, play with them, spend time with them, invest into their growth and development.

And if you have a busy schedule, create time because the responsibility of raising children is much more than giving birth. The main assignment about children is after producing them.
So don’t be feeling good that you have produced four children in three years because you have just given yourself the assignment.
You must teach them the way they should go and when they are old they will not depart from it.

If you leave your children to grow under the care of maids, they will most likely be influenced by their caretaker. In some cases, maids hurt the children under their care.

This is especially if you are unkind to your housemaid. Eventually, she will be giving out what she is receiving. When a child behaves right, he becomes an honor to the mother and a pride to the father, but this depends on how much you have invested in their upbringing.

However, this requires a lot of investment, especially in their early stages lest they become a problem in the future. So parents owe children spiritual, physical, moral, and financial support.
In the end, children grow and become responsible, exemplary and a testimony.

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