The largest purchases I have ever made have been homes. Now The Darling and I are beginning to look at that scenario again…selling and purchasing…and the realtor’s mantra of “location, location, location” echoes in our minds. It is an old phrase. It is an over used phrase. It is a parodied phrase. But it is true. WHERE a piece of real estate is located is an important factor in its value. Its value today. And its value tomorrow.
The same truth applies to the real property of Scripture maxims. Location, location, location. Because “truth without context becomes a pretext for a proof text”. I have been on a pilgrimage through Ephesians. I was encouraged that walking is two steps taken over and over…putting off, and putting on. I was entreated by Paul to walk in love, to walk in light, to walk in wisdom, and to walk in deference. And right there, in the middle of exhorting us to have an attitude of voluntarily yielding our advantages, right there he stops and points out amazing aside.
Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Ephesians 5:22
Husbands, love your wives just as Christ also love the church, and gave Himself for her. Ephesians 5: 25
This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Ephesians 5:32
Paul uses comparisons to encourage us that our walk of humility, our walk of a love unity, is a great mystery that is a depiction of the gospel. Our relationships tell a story and marriage is a parable with an eternal truth.
Instead of focusing on relationships to learn about Jesus, Paul tells us to focus on Jesus to be trained in relationships. And the pivotal aspect he keys in on is the example of our Lord’s love and humility.
We live in a broken world, with broken husbands everywhere…but wait…they live with broken wives. Ouch. So voluntarily deferring to one another in love is a spiritual discipline that must be exercised, with constant and lengthy work out sessions. It was a discipline that this headstrong, independent, determined disciple did not always enjoy being drilled in.
In this part of our expedition in Ephesians He placed a jewel of encouragement. The Jewel of Jesus.
But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God. 1 Cor 11:3
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Phil 2:8
Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. Hebrews 5:8
My Savior and Lord, who is the expressed image of God, made Himself a nobody. He obeyed the Father and voluntarily waived His rights. But in waiving His rights He never lost His position, for He is Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever. He was no less God when He humbled Himself in obedience. This is the example I am to follow. I do not waive my position in deferring to someone else in the context of a living love relationship. I am not less a person. I am deferring the governing, not my standing. And as I live Christ’s example then my relationship is the gospel. In humbling my self, my life proclaims the gospel. Good News!!! He gives more grace. He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
And so I am back to the context of walking.
Of following Jesus.
Of taking two steps over and over and over.
Taking off the old. Putting on the new.
Imitator of God as a dearly loved child.
Part 19 of “Echoes of Encouragement from Ephesians.” See Also: Walk the Line