It was the late 80’s.
I was in junior high school.
I was confident in my blue jean jacket, silk shirt and tight rolled jeans that I would have a good day.
Because I looked like everyone else around me.
I laugh at it now, but I totally conformed to what everyone else was doing, just so that I would fit in.
I still do that.
We still do that.
We tend to conform to those around us.
We emulate those that we deem influential, the trendsetters. The first ones in the school to dare to wear the color blocked silk shirt with confidence.
They make the biggest impressions, they tend to set the standards for how we measure our lives.
In Ephesians 5, Paul goes in depth, revealing the truth of what you love you imitate and emulate. He is calling them not to “fit in” with the norms around them, but to live as Christ would in our daily life (1&2).
What we say we believe and what we do can be as odds with each other. Fear may keep us from taking a stand for what we believe or extending a hand to serve those that society avoids.
This desire to fit in can inhibit our growth.
You are what you love, you are what you desire.
As believers in Christ, our desires are different than those of the world.
Paul is urging them to a deeper love of Christ. The result is that they would become more Christ like. The light of Christ shines upon their earthly lives and reveals the heart of all things. (11-13).
Paul explains the to them the means of how we are to live this life. We are to live a surrendered lilife to the power of the Holy Spirit (18-20). Releasing our desires to embrace His.
Paul then hits close to home.
He draws out what the surrendered life to the Spirit looks like in our most intimate, consistent relationships.
These verses have so often been used out of context and as a means of oppression. However, in context we see them weaving the theme of surrender to God, not just for some but for the whole household. Surrender is never easy, many times it requires much faith. Yet it is in our surrender to Spirit that the character of Christ is seen.
In these verses on the home everyone is called to surrender and to sacrifice.
This passage on the home extends all the way through chapter 6 verse 9, and in it we see the charge to all -wives, husbands, children, slaves and masters to surrender. It is in this surrendering and sacrificing for others that the image of Christ is seen.
How does the gospel change our lives? If we follow Christ, what will our lives look like? I am no expert, but I have learned that the Christian life is often an avalanche of surrender. Yet in our surrender, we imitate Christ, who gave His life for us so that they glory of God may be revealed.
May we, by faith, surrender to Christ in our lives and through our surrender may the Spirit work and God be glorified.
Grace and Peace,