We all grapple at various times in life to know what’s best and what’s true. And, then, often when we’ve found a particular truth, in say science or philosophy, we still find ourselves only in the shallow-end of fully grasping its value and potential.
Have you ever wondered if there is an author to this truth we search for? Someone who’ll help us find what we’re looking for and who can help us properly utilize what we find?
There is a man who makes an astonishing and all-encompassing declaration to be “the truth.” Such a claim implies that all truth starts with him no matter where it may now reside. It also implies that this truth is only really able to be truly held together by him. And, that only he knows the true way things work. This man is Jesus! If not, then where does truth come from?
When we separate truth from Jesus, both are distorted. Our view of Jesus is diminished and the full application of the truth squandered or misused. All truth is from Him and of Him and handled best by Him. An essential part of His truth is captured in God’s word, the Bible. Like a love letter, it serves as a means to knowing Him, and like a plumbline, it’s the guide for all other teaching.
Do you know the truth?!! Because, He knows you and loves you! Have you read His love letter lately?
How about these portions:
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to receive God’s punishment for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).
Said another way:
“For our sake God made Jesus to be Everything Wrong who knew Nothing Wrong, so that in Jesus we might become what God calls Right.”
Countless times I have heard it preached that married women should submit to their husbands and that the man is the head of the home. It is preached straight from the scriptures. Are those who preach submission really preaching straight or are they preaching skew?In the past, Rob and I tried to apply these “truths” at home.
Today I want to use an example from our own marriage to illustrate how head-ship by the husband is not helpful. Immediately after reading this, some of you have alarm bells going off in your heads. You might be surprised to find out that in this context “head” doesn’t mean “authority over.” This article, The Head of the Epistles, explains it nicely. The story below is a portion from my chapter “Who’s in Control?” from my e-book, Happy Moms, Happy Homes.
[My husband and I] were no experts at conflict resolution. I felt caught in the middle of a tug-of-war. Or maybe it was more like a three-way tug-of-war with my husband, God, and me. Fortunately, God won the war, but He had to first teach us how submission works in a marriage. It’s not as simple as some would have us believe. I had come from a highly conservative Christian background where godly women were meant to “know their place.”
I tried the submission route only out of desperation. Did it fix our problems? No, it fell short of expectations and it sometimes flew right back in my face…
I can clearly remember one incident where our idea of submission showed its flaws. At the time, we were staying at my in-laws’ luxury country inn. My husband and I were sitting outside one of their suites while the children were down at their grandma’s house. It had been a lovely day, and the kids had been running around barefoot.
Later that afternoon, as the air began to cool, my husband became concerned that the children could catch a cold. He thought that I was being negligent and told me that I must go down immediately to put socks and shoes on them. I didn’t feel that going right then was a good idea because my mother-in-law had said that she was resting and I didn’t want to disturb her. Also, the kids were indoors so I didn’t think the cold air would bother them for another half-hour or so.
Well, my husband became annoyed. He wanted me to respond to the situation as he thought I should. To keep the peace, I went down, despite my reservations. I tried to be as quiet as possible, but my in-laws’ house was small and their room was right next to the living room where the kids were watching TV. I didn’t stay long, but long enough to have disturbed her rest. I had become trapped between my husband’s expectations and my own conscience. Clearly, submitting in every situation did not always have a favorable outcome.
Why do the scriptures say things like “wives, submit to your husbands” (Eph. 5:22)? There is a verse right before verse 22 that says, “submit one to another” (Eph. 5:21), but it’s easy to glance over this as someone has added a paragraph break with a title above verse 22 that wasn’t in the original text. Chapter breaks, subtitles and even verses can hinder the flow of the author’s original intention. To actually go in depth into the scriptures regarding the portions that people get hung up over would take too much time. My husband and I have given hours to the study of these things and have been richly blessed by other scholars of the Bible. Hopefully, we’ll be posting in more detail on these difficult passages in the future.
One key to good interpretation is context. Another key is to use scripture that is plainly clear to help interpret portions that are hard to understand. One fundamental truth states that there is no longer slave or free, male or female, because we are all under Christ (Gal. 3:28). This scripture was written in order to unify believers. Where there is unity, God commands a blessing. We are not to lord it over each other anymore. We are all heirs of the same promise, and if Christ set us free, then we are free indeed.
I hope I have managed to wet your appetite, because I have more in mind to write and share in the near future.
Government has laws so that the people it serves can happily co-exist. Now, imagine God became one of our citizens. What would He want government to legislate? Do we think that He thinks differently now to when He gave laws to His people Israel? Sure, the covenant He made with them is over, but the wisdom, truth and principles of love and justice found in God’s word still reflect His nature, as do the related blessings and curses and the sacrificial system. God has not gone soft on the law! Jesus on the cross is God’s attitude about the law and sin, and His dying didn’t change God’s attitude to these either. What we see demonstrated is both His love for us when Jesus took our punishment, and His justice satisfied.
Some may feel that we are expecting too much from people who are spiritually blind to walk in the light of God’s laws. However, rather than spiritual blindness, it’s the flesh, our selfishness, and seared consciences that keep us from doing what is right. Spiritual blindness is the inability to see that it’s our disconnection to a loving God that prevents us from doing what is right, and to find meaning in life. That doesn’t excuse us from the laws of God. We shouldn’t have less or a “softer” set of laws for unbelievers because they are spiritually blind. In fact God’s word says that the law exists for the unrighteous not the righteous. You see, besides, that they show God’s wisdom, love and guidance, God’s laws exist for unbelievers to see their shortcoming and lead them to Christ.
Also, we shouldn’t have less law to tolerate mans weakness, because without changed hearts, this would create anarchy to God’s laws. Rather, we should have all the laws that God would, so that men, women and children can learn of God’s ways and they can at least be outwardly protected from man’s sinful nature that needs to be kept in check. Governments should simply reflect God’s laws. On the one hand these are quite detailed, while on the other they can be summed up in showing love. Those without God’s love in them need to be governed by the detail, while those with God’s love rejoice in the love shown in the detail.