Monday, November 17, 2014
Some people have the silly notion that “church” people live in a world that makes them exempt from ever hearing the filthy and vulgar four-letter words that are as common in today’s society as any other word we may hear in every-day conversations. We don’t live in seclusion, so any foray we may take into today’s world of entertainment will make us more than aware of all the disgusting words that seem to be making all the rounds. Speaking for myself, I feel embarrassment when I hear these choice expletives, especially when they come from an unsuspected source. There are some four letter words, however, that although they are not profane, nevertheless make people feel uneasy when they hear them. I heard one such word yesterday in church. I am referring to the word “obey.” Just like the word “sin” we don’t hear it being used very often these days. I suspect people don’t use the word today because they really don’t understand it’s meaning or right application. For example, a young couple once approached me and the young man obviously wanted her to hear my reply to his question. He asked, “In a marriage, who’s the boss?” I suspect he may have read or else heard someone quote 1 Corinthians 11:3 which says, “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”
I perceive the young man understood that the verse clearly shows that the man was the “boss” in this case. He didn’t like what he heard when I reminded him that marriage is not that kind of a relationship. I’ve conducted marriage ceremonies for close to forty years and I purposely have never used the line that was used in the marriage vows long ago which asks the woman, “do you promise to obey your husband?” When I counseled with the couple beforehand I wanted them to understand that marriage, although it requires submission from both parties at one time or another, is not a boss-worker or a master-slave relationship, but a partnership. Even the word “submission” can be misunderstood. It does not mean “giving in” but rather a willingness to say “you go first this time” when the situation calls for it.
In our relationship to God, however, we can apply the Father-child relationship and in the case of those of us who consider ourselves to be His servants, a Master-slave relationship. Here the word “obey” comes into play. Even in a more modern translation of the Bible, the New International Version, (NIV) it appears 46 times, so it must be a perfectly legitimate word. Yet, in every-day conversations, how often do we hear it being used today? Ever since Jesus came into my life, I never had any problem with the word “obey.” In fact, I loved it and one of my all-time favorite hymns, has this line: “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” Are you trusting and obeying Jesus in your life?
Memory verse for the week: (Luke 6:46) Jesus said: "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say."