This chapter continues the inward look into the lifestyle we should have as members of the physical church body. Leading our families to be healthy church members is a bit of a daunting task. This chapter was the first to talk about our immediate families and how our individual lives affect them and their relationship to the church, for the husband, the wife and even the single person.
The biggest point that stood out was, “someone is always watching you”. Whether you’re a husband, wife or single person, what you do for your church, how you talk about the staff or members of your church, how you choose to approach corporate worship, all of those things are being closely watched by any and everyone around you.
In marriage, husbands are told to “love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” (Ephesians 5:25). Wives are told to “submit to your own husband as to the Lord”(v.22). This relationship is given to show us how we are to love THE BRIDE of Christ, loving and submitting to each other. We can be very quick to talk about the things that are going wrong in our churches, but imagine if we took the time to lead our families in prayer instead. (If you need a list of things to pray for regarding your church, check out Whitney’s blog from last week.) Imagine how our children would look at our church. How they’d respond to issues that arise. We have to lead our families first in loving our church unconditionally. Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” If they see us praying, they will learn to pray. If they see us excited to worship together as a family, they will be excited also. If they see us loving our church instead of gossiping, they will learn to love. Remember, they are always watching.
To the spouse that may be showing up alone, stay the course. As a husband, continue to be the man God has called you to be. Continue leading family prayer. Continue serving. Continue loving your wife. Continue. As a wife, 1 Peter 3:1 reads, “Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their lives.” The message is essentially the same. Continue the course. God sees what you’re going through. And, you have no idea who else is seeing it. Continue to pray. Continue serving. Continue leaning on Christ to win your spouse over. Continue.
To the single person, you may not have an immediate family to pray with or bring to worship every week. But the encouragement here is, you don’t know who’s watching. You don’t know who’s listening. You never know. God may place your spouse in your church. And they may be watching you. Someone could be willing to bless you with a home, car, free lunch, anything. How you love your church will go a very long way for those that are watching. Follow the example of Jesus. Love your church unconditionally.
Being a healthy church member is more than being a robot in your church. It’s actively loving, serving, praying, worshipping, all of those things. Stay the course. And even if no one ever notices, Jesus does. Your reward in Heaven is the goal anyway. Not what myself, Derek, or anyone else says the goal is. Heaven is the goal. Continue to love, pray, and serve.
Be blessed friends!