Suppose someone asked you for advice on how to have a successful marriage; would you have some ideas about what a successful marriage requires? I would guess that everyone could make a suggestion or two, maybe something simple like time, communication or effort. You might say that a successful and happy marriage requires things like honesty, mutual respect and caring. You might say that the husband and wife need to spend time together, they must actually talk together, work together and pull the weight of everyday reality in the same direction together.
You might say that a successful marriage relationship would need to be based on love and intimacy and transparency; there should be no secrets. If we were all sitting together around the kitchen table, somebody would say that a marriage relationship needs for husband and wife to be equal partners, the kind of partners who can always rely upon each other.
Oh just think about it; as the conversation continued, how the list of ideas would grow!
In our text, Paul has a fair amount to say about the way husbands and wives should live together, maybe we could take all of the ideas that we came up with and write them up into some kind of a questionnaire or quiz, with a score at the end that would give a person an idea of how well they are doing as a spouse.
And then we could drop the next two verses on them (verses 32-33) and point out that Paul was really talking about our relationships with Jesus…
Using the same quiz, how would we all be doing in our relationships with Him? Do we spend time together, do we communicate, tell the truth, try to keep secrets and all the rest?
To be honest with you, I have actually done this in class settings and used the same “catch” at the end. Can you guess what happens at the end? Most of the time, there is a bit of sound, kind of like a gasp. Then there is silence…
We all know what can happen in a human relationship when one or both parties take it for granted. What can happen in our relationship with our Lord when one of the parties takes it for granted?
There is only one possible party who will take it for granted; do we need to make some changes?