Ephesians 5:1-2, “1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma”
When I was a little boy in Africa, with friends we would often play our own made up games. One of the games I remember pretty well was a game we called “cha mama”. This is where we imitated our parents on how they handled their day-to-day activities as a couple. We would have a boy play father, a girl play mother; the kids who were a little younger than us would play the children. We did an excellent job as we tried to imitate what we would see our parents do, how they treated each other, children, responsibilities etc The only script we had was memories of what we saw and experienced through our parents. God calls us to imitate someone concerning marriage too.
I believe one of the greatest reasons for marriages is for God to make His name great as we grow in holiness. It’s a refining ground. I still remember something before I got married Tom Readyoff an elder from my church once said from the pulpit that changed my whole approach to marriage. He said, “what if God created marriage not so that we can be happy primarily but that we can be holy” (paraphrased) how would that change us?
Early chapters of the book Ephesians all the way to chapter 5 prepares us believers. Teaching us how we ought to live. I believe part of it prepares us to be better in our marriages. There are three things addressed in chapter 5 I believe are key ingredients to a glorious marriage 1. Walking in love, 2. Walking in the light, 3. Walking in wisdom.
Today lets deal with “Walking in love”. The first thing Paul tells us in vs.1 “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Unless we are daily cultivating a vertical relationship with the Father of love who teaches us how to love, how can we effectively love another person? This is why many girls who never had a father figure in the home find it hard to pick a good husband if they never saw it at home. They never had a chance of learning what it means to truly be loved, unconditional love, so the world gives them its own version of love and they accept it. The same for boys who never saw and felt what it means to be loved and in turn learn to give love. How would he do it? We are told to be imitators of God, that vertical relationship is what will drive us to better our horizontal love relationship with our spouses. In remembering how we played games imitating our parents, it later played in life on how I chose and relate to my wife.
How do we imitate God, vs. 2 tells us, “Walk in love”. Walking in love means more than saying “I love you” or having warm feelings. Christ loved us and demonstrated that love by giving Himself as an offering and a sacrifice to God as a sweet aroma. This is sacrificial love. Christ did not give Himself to those who deserved it, He gave Himself because He chose to love us and He did it to the glory of God. If we view marriage as a means to an end, then we will be opened to disappointments for the person we are married to is far from perfection and need work themselves. What an atmosphere to be conformed in the image of Christ as God works in each of us to bring about unity in diversity. Each spouse has no greater calling or purpose than that of imitating Christ our Lord. Christ laid down His life for His bride even when she did not deserve it. This is the kind of love that keeps marriage strong, self-sacrificing love that goes beyond faults and weaknesses and looking at the person we are married to and saying something like this, “if Christ has loved you even when you did not deserve it, I will love you because the love of Christ dwells in me, I will imitate Christ, His love compels me to”
How do we strengthen this love? By protecting it from things that want to diminish in it vs. 3 tells us to put away immorality/adultery (lust), greed, filthiness, foolish talks or coarse joking, and deception but give place to thanksgiving which brings about contentment. You have limited growth trying to be the spouse God wants you to be in your marriage unless you daily commune with Him. You cannot deal and resist things that want to diminish love unless you are constantly cultivating your vertical relationship. Be in the word, be in prayer and imitate Christ in your marriage, let Him be glorified. To continue…Blessings Ev
- Marriage Is God’s Divine Plan, Part 4of4, by Evans Olang (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)
- Marriage Is God’s Divine Plan, Part 1of4, by Evans Olang (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)