There are some interesting words of wisdom in our text today. Peter was married, so he had the marital experience Paul did not have (Paul talked about family roles, too). Even if you’re unmarried yourself, we all know people who are married. Keep them in mind, too, as you read these verses.
Some people may say Peter’s advice is outdated and doesn’t apply anymore. Others may appreciate Peter for calling out how marriage is a partnership. The Bible has a lot more to say about marriage, but it’s interesting to get Peter’s viewpoint of God’s great design. What can we glean from Peter?
How ironic that Nahum’s final oracle would begin with advice on how to prepare for the onslaught. It’s like warning the enemy because what’s coming is just that horrible. I think of the countless flyers the United States dumped from the air over Japan before sending the deadly bombs that ended World War II.
Do you think Nahum intended to give them another chance to redeem themselves? He was certainly making a personal effort to protect them, even though there was no chance for survival. Nahum must have had some difficulty in proclaiming such a message. Bricks would not save them!
Paul wants to make sure he has covered the bases in terms of relationships within the church. It comes down to an attitude of respect that can also be applied to relationships outside the church family as well. Paul’s instruction to teach these things and encourage such behavior tells us of the importance of such practices. Paul was equipping Timothy to be a successful leader.
To maintain a thriving church, Paul starts by focusing on the elders and how they should be treated. “Elders who do their work well should be respected and paid well, especially those who work hard at both preaching and teaching.” Did you note the expectation that elders do their work well? I’m curious what being “paid well” meant in Paul’s day!
What is your first memory of the Golden Rule? For me, it was Sunday School. I can remember being in the “upper room”, so that must have been like 4th grade. (Funny story — that room and several others were converted years later to an office that David had as a pastor!) Rules are important to give us direction and ability to set boundaries.
The Golden Rule, the granddaddy of all rules, is really great wisdom. But, how many of us actually think through it on a regular basis? “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.” What images come to mind for you? Do you picture yourself involved, giving a friend a surprise “just because”gift because that’s what you would like to receive? Or do you see others, as in a strange man walking an elderly woman across a busy street?
I realize some of you reading this may not be married now, ever, or any more, but I would guess you know married couples. It is a good reminder for us all how we should treat each other. With respect and love.
I’ve personally had struggle with this passage over the years because of a troubled first marriage. Without reliving all of that, suffice it to say that sometimes people misunderstand what it means to submit and to love as Paul teaches. When we hear that wives are to “submit,” it’s not as in bondage or self-sacrifice. I believe Paul is telling us to present ourselves for approval. As wives, we want to be pleasing to our husbands. Continue reading “Ephesians 5:21-33 – Be a Spiritual Spouse”