Read: Ephesians 5: 22-33
Reflect: Honestly, I’ve been dreading this portion of Ephesians all summer. I’ve known it was coming. If you’re married, you’ve heard this portion of scripture a number of times, and I’ve just been wondering how in the world we’d work it into our Audacious study. And, here we are. Is it any surprise to anyone that chapter 10 included the story of a husband and wife in the movie, A Beautiful Mind?
Just like Beth was quick to shift from marriage to our relationship with Christ, I’m going to urge you to do the same. I imagine many of us are married, but some of us are not. A few of us may have put in the work to have found the “sweet spot” of marriage, but most of us are still struggling through (at least I’ve already outed myself). And, I am not naive at all in the area of marriage hurt. So, I completely understand that many of us read today’s scripture with hurt, anger, or absolute frustration.
So, for the purpose of our study, let’s focus on the verses that describe Christ’s relationship to us;
Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church -- a love marked by giving, not getting. Christ’s love makes the church whole. His words evoke her beauty. Everything he does and says is designed to bring the best out of her, dressing her in dazzling white silk, radiant with holiness….. No one abuses his own body, does he? No, he feeds and pampers it. That’s how Christ treats us, the church, since we are part of his body.” (portions of verses 25-30, Message version)
Respond: Have you ever felt like Jesus loves you this way? Ladies, He makes us whole. Since Beth referenced a movie, I feel the freedom to do the same. Do you remember the famous line from Jerry Maguire, “you complete me?” It sounded so perfect coming from Tom Cruise. However, in reality, it’s misleading. No human being can complete another human being for long. The Message version of our scripture today, though, insists that Christ’s love completes us. He is the only one that can do that! Every other human will fail to be our fulfillment, and that is a gift.
Have you allowed Jesus to complete you? In other words, have you taken all of the frustrations of other relationships to Him for healing? When other people cause me to feel lonely, hurt, mistreated, abused, neglected, or unloved, I’m forced to look to Jesus for companionship, healing, compassion, comfort, and love. He comes through every, single time.
Is there a hurt you’re feeling that no person has been able to make better? Spend some time asking Jesus to come to your rescue. I’m convinced He will be the driving desire of our lives when we understand how fully He completes. He is absolutely all that we need, and I want to experience it.
Renew: Listen, if someone has let you down relationally, today hasn’t been about me letting them off the hook. He/she will answer for that. God takes the mistreatment of His children very seriously. However, today has been about letting Jesus love us personally and relationally. Allow Him to renew your spirit with these words,
And in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; (Colossians 2:10)