Love the principal thing.
This chapter seemed divided into two. The first half talking about working-out our relationship with GOD and the other half on how to work out our relationship with our spouse.
How can we effectively work out our relationship with GOD? The answer just sits in the opening verse of this chapter.
Verse 1: Be ye therefore followers of GOD as dear children
Notice it didn’t say: Be ye therefore followers of GOD as faithful servants? It said as dear children, which clearly shows the kind of relationship GOD seeks to have with us. Servants follow the instructions of their leader and are bound to obey them whether they like it or not, however this does not apply to a child. Laws that bind servants can never be applicable to bonafide children of a household. The child freely lives above the same laws that bind the servant in the same house.
In Galatians 5:1-4, Paul made us to understand that the gospel of salvation also meant the gospel of freedom (Freedom from the law). Freedom to operate in the capacity GOD wants us to through the Spirit and we believing and receiving this gospel means we have earned the right to operate as children and not just as servants following laws and working to fulfill them by works.
Verse 2: And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us
There’s a thin line between walking in obedience and working in love. One can obey without loving. An example of this are the rules we were made to obey while at NYSC camps. A lot of us hated these rules but yet, we had to obey them regardless of how we felt.
However, this is not the kind of obedience walk Jesus wants us to have with the Father. He doesn’t want us to have a leader to servant relationship as the men and women in the Old Testament had, but a father and son relationship and this can only be born from genuine love.
Love begets genuine obedience. If you love someone, you will go out of your way to please them on your own accord without being told and would even do more to keep them pleased. You don’t seek to please them because you are compelled to but because we genuinely want to.
‘For GOD so loved the world that he sent he sent his son’. His son in turn also loved the world and chose to die. This was not out of compulsion but out of love and that’s how Jesus wants us to relate with him. Out of love and not compulsion. Because he knows, if you Love him, you would obey him.
If we focus on our Love for him, it would undeniably reflect in our work for him. We would do what we are needed to without being asked and refrain from all Paul pointed out against in the other verses without being told.
LOVE should be at the very core of our relationship with GOD. For out of it proceeds willing Submission and genuine obedience. Jesus wants us to Love him for real and that’s why he never forces his way in but instead, chooses to stand at the door and knock, waiting for you to willingly open.
From verse 22
Is like the second half of the scripture. From here, Paul centered on working on relationships amongst ourselves especially between spouses.
He emphasised on “SUBMISSION”. The reason for conflicts in most homes is this issue “SUBMISSION” a lot of people including we Christians have ridden with the misconception of this word.
Even right groups like “The Feminists” have a HUGE issue with this concept. Because, the world seem to have likened the word “SUBMISSION” to slavery and it’s not at all so!
There’s a huge difference between SUBMISSION and Enslavement. They may look slightly similar in application but are totally different in principle.
To SUBMIT means to Willingly surrender oneself. It’s not via compulsion but based on pure willingness.
Jesus wants us to Submit to him by ourselves. Yes, he died for us but yet he doesn’t because of that want us to compulsory follow him based on that. He wants our submission to him to be purely based on love.
When you love, you will willingly submit and when you submit, you will willingly obey.
It all shoots out from Love. That’s why there is a huge difference between Respect and Fear. You love whom you respect and respect who you love. The same is not said concerning fear.
It springs out from Love.
The world is not in turmoil today because of the lack or absence of GOD but the absence of Love in the lives and hearts of humans.
When you Love, you will not steal, you will not kill, you will not covet. With LOVE every commandment in the Old Testament is a walk over.
Devil knows this so he steadily attacks our Love for one another, our love for GOD and the Love for the word.
“Submit yourselves one to another”. But before we can submit, we must learn to love.
So, if your spouse doesn’t listen or submit to you, you don’t need counseling. The person doesn’t love you period and thus, would NEVER see the need to Submit themselves to you let alone Obey you.
LOVE begets Submission. Submission begets Obedience and Obedience begets Dedication. This cuts across every sphere of life.
So, let’s work on our Love and the Love would bring all things beautiful.
Some points others noted as well:
True. We can’t treat people anyhow and expect them to love and submit to you. I see submission as service. A couple cannot out serve each other because it means that are always looking for the best for each other. If that becomes one-sided submission becomes abusive.
Yes, this is crucial. I believe when we see everyone from the view that, there is God in everyone, we would show love to them, ultimately obey and respect them.
Everyone was made in God’s image; so if you wouldn’t shout at God, don’t shout at your colleague. When Jesus told a parable about judgment day, that you saw me and you did not feed me, you did not clothe me and all. They asked when did we see you? He said what we do to the least of brethren you do also to me.
Heaven will not accept any form of uncleanliness.
God hates disobedience.
Give thanks always.
Summary of life. Love is life. I remember saying it somewhere that love is everything we need in respect to marriage contrary to the school of thought that love isn’t enough. The love I talk about in 1st Corinthians 13 is hard work. Little wonder why it’s the first among the fruit of the spirit. The devil knows this so he has come up with many deceitful copies of ‘love’. If we would love like God desires of us, I can imagine how the world would be just for a day.
Last chapter comes up tomorrow!