Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Idolatry of Marrage: part 2 Relationships

We focused on a topic in which people might think that they are not included, so I wanted to broaden the landscape before we close out of this. There is a known parallel between Christian marriage and the relationship between Christ and the Church within the Bible(I.E: we are the bride of Christ)

Ephesians 5:21-27 (King James Version)“ 21Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. 22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. 25Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
Romans 7:4 (King James Version) 4Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

There are many examples where the Bible puts emphasis on the relationship with your brothers and sisters in Christ; the highest calling that I can recall of this is in Matthew 22:39 (“39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ”) Now lets address what it says at the start of this verse: “And the second is like it.” It is to my encouragement that many of the churches in which I meet are highly interested in and do play the role well of love my neighbor, but indeed there are many which for the sake of loving your neighbor erase from their minds “the second is like it” and simply keeping “love your neighbor.” Now why would this be a issue? Because of the great misdeed it does to our Lord, for it says in fullness Matthew 22:37-39: “37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” For the greatest commandment is loving God, and it is only through loving God Fully that we are able to do the second commandment. We must extend our heart, soul and mind to God and have him as our first love; otherwise, it is idolatry which we are performing by loving the relationships with people greater then loving God. For it was God who said in Revelation 2:4-5 (New International Version, ©2011): “4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.

So, what would be a example of loving a relationship more than God? Think about it this way: love creates in us a fullness, a value, and even a hope. So it is something that we naturally long for. The psalmist writes this; “Psalm 84:2 2 My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD;my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.” Yet Christians can be stuck in yearning and finding fullness in the relationships with others, things like “oh I hope he says something nice about me.” or “I hope she talks to me today,” or even “I am waiting anxiously for my friend to get here because they make my day better.” All of these examples can be signs of a heart issue of discontentment, so I urge you in this regard: take some time to think over your relationships that you are investing time in, and ask yourself this, “Am I in a relationship with this person to fulfill a desire in my heart,” and “Am I seeking God to fill these areas in my heart?” Be on guard; you can say no to the first question but still be dealing with the lack of Gods presence in your life.

Let me close with this, relationships are vital in a Christan's life, and God lays that out plainly in the Bible. Just make sure that you are not forsaking your first love, because then those healthy relationships can become harmful as a means to fill you emotionally, and kill you spiritually!

My prayer:
God you are my first love; you taught me how to love when you showed me on the cross what it means to love. without that I can not begin to love those you call me to care for and show love to. It is my hope that I am not misplacing my fulfillment in relationships with others, but you know my heart and how deceitful it is. Reveal to me your understanding of myself and my lifestyle and point out to me where I am falling so that I can walk next to you. If there be any misdeed of this in my life, Lord, please forgive me and may my love be always trying to reflect your love for me. Amen