A big white dress and saying 'I do' does not resolve all conflict.
Reference: v.33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (NIV Bible)
Explore: As a big fan of romantic comedy I found the movie Love Actually brilliant. It invites you to follow many story lines towards different kinds of love, each with it's own challenges. While there are a number of happy endings the movie touches on the emotion of the death of a loved one, unrequited love, unfaithful love and loving family first. The various relationships presented were very moving – and often hilarious – and it presented the many challenges involved in being in relationship with another. It should have been no surprise that there wasn't always a happy ending.
With the current high level of divorce and domestic violence in our society today, it seems that even in real life there are many complexities to relationships. A big white dress and saying 'I do' does not resolve all conflict. Relationships are something we need to constantly work at, to honour each other and to honour God.
Application: If we look at Christ's response to the church we are able to get a glimpse at a loving relationship. Jesus gave of himself as a perfect example of how to live and love and then sacrificed himself for all others. In an ideal world, if we were to all act in that way there would be minimal pain and suffering. However, to live like that is to act contrary to the standards of this world – Look after no.1; Just do it; Fulfill your own desires. I guess that's why Jesus was so controversial, He 'gave himself up' for others. As he led by example, the challenge for us is to do likewise. Put off our own selfish ambitions and look to loving others as we would have them love us.
Prayer: Lord, you loved like no one else has loved. Sometimes loving others becomes so difficult. May we draw from your strength and your grace as we aim to live as you lived, to love as you loved. Amen.
Loving others can be challenging in all sorts of different relationships. How do you care for yourself while still giving yourself up for others?
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This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.